Momofuku Ando RIP

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Can never think about ramen noodles without recalling my favorite spaghetti western, Tampopo (wiki here).

“Tampopo” (Juzo Itami)

I even named my cat after the movie (well, shortened to The Pope).
The Pope gets bagged

Lawrence Downes writes:

Mr. Noodle - New York Times

The news last Friday of the death of the ramen noodle guy surprised those of us who had never suspected that there was such an individual. It was easy to assume that instant noodle soup was a team invention, one of those depersonalized corporate miracles, like the Honda Civic, the Sony Walkman and Hello Kitty, that sprang from that ingenious consumer-product collective known as postwar Japan.

But no. Momofuku Ando, who died in Ikeda, near Osaka, at 96, was looking for cheap, decent food for the working class when he invented ramen noodles all by himself in 1958. His product — fried, dried and sold in little plastic-wrapped bricks or foam cups — turned the company he founded, Nissin Foods, into a global giant. According to the company’s Web site, instant ramen satisfies more than 100 million people a day. Aggregate servings of the company’s signature brand, Cup Noodles, reached 25 billion worldwide in 2006.

...Ramen noodles, by contrast, are a dish of effortless purity. Like the egg, or tea, they attain a state of grace through a marriage with nothing but hot water. After three minutes in a yellow bath, the noodles soften. The pebbly peas and carrot chips turn practically lifelike. A near-weightless assemblage of plastic and foam is transformed into something any college student will recognize as food, for as little as 20 cents a serving.

I always added some fresh vegetables to the mix, back in the days when money was more scarce than ramen noodles.

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1 Comment

Did you know there's a manga retelling the story of Cup Noodle? It got a good review at J LHLS

[ha! Super cool, thanks for that - Seth]

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 9, 2007 10:23 AM.

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