Here is another brand of luosifen, and surprisingly, there were big bold English words on the individual packets inside. I was very curious to see if this was going to be any stinkier than Haohuanluo’s version, and in particular I wanted to try to isolate the specific item that contributed the offending odor. So I carefully opened and sniffed each packet first, paying particular attention to “The Sauce of Snails” and the sour bamboo shoots, neither of which were particularly strong.
If anything, the weirdest smelling one was the sauce in the upper left that didn’t have any English on it. But even then, none of this was particuarly pungent, and in fact tasted a bit more bland than Haohuanluo’s, even though I’m sure that I used the right amount of water. I’m starting to get the sense that the reputation of this dish is over exaggerated, as it just seems like a typical bowl of spicy noodles with just a mild oomph from the bamboo shoots.