Thursday, October 18, 2012

Meet Momofuku Ando, inventor of Ramen Noodles (Series Part 4 of 4)

Kids love them, college students live off them, they make a great on the go meal -- but do most people know the inventor behind the beloved Instant Noodles? 

Well, Taiwanese-Japanese business man and founder of Nissin Food Products Company, Momofuku Ando, can take that title. Originally Nissin was a small family-run company that produced salt in Ikeda, Osaka, Japan after the bankruptcy of his first company. 

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Ando's idea for Instant Noodles came during the post-war era when Japan was suffering from a shortage of food. Ando dedicated months of trial and error experimentation before finally on August 25, 1958 when he marketed the first package of precooked noodles, calling them Chicken Ramen. 

Originally the revolutionary instant noodles were considered a luxury item, priced around six times what the traditional noodles were at the time. Once prices began to drop, Instant noodles popularity took off at a rapid rate. 

In 1964 he became the chairman of the International Ramen Manufacturers' Association. There is even a museum (Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum) dedicated to him! 

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The efficiency and low prices of Instant Noodles and Cup Noodles created a fortune for Nissin. Ando lived to be 96 and when asked the secret to his long life he said that it was playing golf and eating Chicken Ramen nearly every day

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