Who was Momofuku Ando?
If you have been on Google today, you likely saw the Doodle of an old man in a grey tracksuit floating in the middle of the word “Google” spelled out in noodles. That man is Momofuku Ando, the creator of instant ramen. Today, March 4, 2015, would have been Ando’s 105th birthday. It is important to know about major inventors and revered individuals in the cooking industry while you are studying at an online culinary school. Learn about Momofuku Ando here:
Momofuku Ando was born in Chiayi, Taiwan, on March 5, 1910. He moved to Japan after World War ll and held various jobs, like making salt and selling socks, all the while playing around with recipes and inventions. According to Vox, when he was in his 40s, Ando is said to have been hit with the realization that noodles could cure world hunger. So he set about trying to come up with a way to make them quickly and easily at home at a cheaper price than noodles were selling for on the streets of Japan. He started Nissin Foods in 1958, after inventing a way to flash-fry noodles so they would cook quickly in the instant Top Ramen form familiar with people all over the globe. The company’s first product that year was chicken ramen. In 1971, Ando introduced the Cup Noodles for even simpler on-the-go eating. In 2005, at age 95, Nissin provided a vacuum-packed version of the noodles for Soichi Noguchi, a Japanese astronaut who was part of a mission on the Discovery space shuttle. The famous inventor died at age 97 in Ikeda, Osaka, Japan.
“Mankind is noodlekind,” Momofuku is said to have declared. But what was so special about his invention? Anyone can make noodles in their own home and add them to broth to create their own version of ramen. Ando set out to make the process much faster and more affordable. The main obstacle he faced, according to Time, was finding a way to prevent the noodles from becoming mushy once they were boiled. Ando’s wife told the magazine that he learned to spray the noodles with chicken soup and then use tempura oil to fry them briefly. Even though Ando was the head of a $300 million dollar company, he was still known to enjoy Cup Noodles and other Nissin products. If you are ever in Osaka, Japan, make a stop at The Instant Ramen Museum where you can learn about Nissin’s history and walk through a hallway displaying all of its offerings.