We’ve all come to associate instant ramen with the high-speed, low-budget (read: broke) lifestyle of college students. A package of Cup Noodles is most commonly seen next to a textbook in a dorm room, about to be microwaved, late at night. But was this the original intention of its inventor — to create a massively popular, cheap form of food for cash-strapped coeds? Well, not exactly.
A new video from Great Big Story sets the record straight. After the end of World War II, food shortages plagued major Japanese cities. In response, the United States sent over wheat flour, encouraging citizens to make bread. One man named Momofuku Ando was convinced that his countrymen should make noodles, which were already a staple of the Japanese diet. So he set out to create a new ramen that was made to last, spending about a year to figure out a recipe that preserved both taste and freshness and eventually finding the answer by flash-frying the noodles. Ando introduced instant ramen in the 1950s and Cup Noodles in the 1970s, and the rest is pretty much history. Check out the brief video below.
P.S. Coincidence that New York ramen mogul David Chang’s restaurant empire is named Momofuku and his newly opened delivery-only restaurant is titled Ando? We think not!