FOOD&CULTURE - The ramen noodle invasion
Pre-cooked instant noodles have swept out of Asia and are swamping the world.
- Saturday, 01 November 2014
by Elisabeth Roman Invented in 1958 in Japan by Momofuku Ando, consumption of instant noodles has spread exponentially. Easily stored and prepared, they provide a hot meal by just adding boiling water. Such practicality has made them standard fare today among Asians and English-speaking students worldwide.
In post-war Japan, Ando spent years developing a product he hoped could feed the masses. The ingredients are simple: precooked and dried wheat flour pasta garnished with a powdered seasoning or sauce.
When Ando’s small company Nissin Foods first introduced ‘Chikin Ramen’ (ramen became the generic name for the product), noodles were considered a luxury; they cost six times as much as ‘homemade’ versions.