Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We'll take a cup o' noodles, yet, for Olde Lang Syne

The ramen noodle inventor died Friday in Osaka, Japan. Believe it or not, those little dried noodles that come to life when you add hot water weren't thunk up by a bunch of hungry chemists in a laboratory (though they sorta taste that way). No, the curly pasta was invented by none other than Momofuku Ando, founder of Nissin Food Products Company. He didn't die of obesity - of living off ramen noodles - his heart finally gave out at the ripe old age of 96.

The New York Times gave the guy a huge chunk of yesterday's obit page, plus a light-hearted bit on the editorial/opinion page. So this was no small deal, the invention of ramen noodles. According to the NY Times:

Ramen noodles . . . 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.

Let's raise a Cup o' Noodles to the late Mr. Ando, for cheaply and fillingly feeding starving college kids everywhere! Cheers, Noodle Guy!


Elsie said...

Sad that Momofuku died. I'll raise my cup with you. Son loves those noodles! Mom favors them in Bok Choy salad. Me, I could do without (the paycheck to paycheck days did me in), but appreciate his innovativeness.

Jay Branum said...

My middle son Josh eats them right out of the package without cooking ! UGH..He called me the other day checking on me and I could barely hear him. He told me that he was eating lunch between his sales calls. I asked him what was so tasty that he couldn't stop long enough to talk. Uncooked Ramen Noodles he said. And to think that his mother used to make his baby food from scratch using organic vegetables..........

MaryB said...

Elsie - yeah, I think the problem with ramen noodles is that once you get beyond the starving artist days (though I occasionally hark back to poverty now and then), you never want to look at them again!

Jay - I know several kids who eat the noodles raw. I'm with you - UGH! That said, if you break them up and toast them on a lightly oiled pan in the oven, they give a good crunch to salads and soups. And Cindy makes a killer Oriental Salad using those little toasted nuggets. But raw? No, thanks.

Christa said...

Yuk - ramen noodles.
I ate that way too much when I was younger and today I have this aviation that I just cannot control. It's awful and among the few things I don't eat if I can help it.

He did manage to reach an astonishing age though - 96 ain't bad.