Long Live Instant Noodles

September 16, 2008 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

It’s been 50 years since Chicken Ramen Instant Noodles were invented in Osaka, the Japan Times reports. You probably know them as Cup Noodles, the Styrofoamy, hot, flavored goodness from your college days or early 20s. One of my roommates back then used to keep a 24-pack under her bed, and they were always welcome on a cold autumn day. Chicken soup is comforting no matter the style, but something about instant Ramen is extra-nostalgic for me.

The rest of the world caught on to the appeal of instant Ramen in the early 1970s, and the popularity of the ubiquitous noodles has grown ever since: over 100 billion served worldwide. (Take that, McDonald’s.)

According to “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio, inventor Momofuku Ando, who died at age 96 last year, believed that it was never too late to make your mark. He is quoted as writing, “I invented instant ramen when I was 48 and Cup Noodles at 61. In life, there is no such thing as too late.” So beloved is “Ramen King” Ando that a statue of him was erected outside the Nissin Instant Ramen Museum (yes, you read that correctly) in April.

The noodles aren’t fading away any time soon, either; new applications are constantly being found for them. Their packaging makes them perfect for emergency relief, and even astronauts carry vacuum-sealed versions. Here’s to 50 more years of instant noodles!

Sarah S.

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