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Momofuku Ando: Google Celebrates Instant Ramen Creator’s 105th Birthday

Today, Google is celebrating what would have have been the 105th birthday of Momofuku Ando, the man who created instant noodles, also known today as Cup Noodles. Google Doodler Sophie Diao illustrated the inventor and humanitarian on Thursday, March 5, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The illustration includes a colorful illustration of the man who loved noodles and wanted to help feed the world.

Ando was responsible for creating noodles that came with the easiest of instructions. All you have to do is peel the lid off, pour hot boiling water into the cup, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and eat it. Ando’s instant noodles have saved many college students during those long nights studying and finding something good to eat.

Doodler Sophie Diao didn’t want to just focus on his love for ramen noodles. She also wanted to capture Momofuku’s passion for helping out the less fortunate in Japan. Some of Momofuku’s inspiring life story was revealed on Google.

“Ando […]found the inspiration to his greatest success while walking through the streets of post-World War II Japan: People were waiting for hours in long lines, just for a comforting bowl of ramen. Realizing hunger was the most pressing issue facing Japan, he felt a desire to help the people of his country.”

Ando’s invention began in 1957 when he started making ramen noodles. Diao wanted to touch on the inventor’s curiosity for creating instant noodles. She included the exact shed where Ando experimented with his creation.

What made Momofuku want to create instant ramen? The then 22-year-old saw people waiting in long lines just for a bowl of ramen in the streets of a post-World War II Japan. He was quoted saying, “people can only be content when there is enough food.” Momofuku wanted to create a food that’s cheaper, and feeds people in a shorter amount of time. Even though instant ramen only takes three minutes to make, the recipe took longer to create.

“It took 48 years of my life for me to come up with the idea of instant noodles. Each and every event in the past is connected to the present by invisible threads,” Ando was quoted in a past interview.

It was then he created his invention by flash-frying noodles in boiling tempura oil. He noticed that tiny holes appeared the oil, allowing the noodles to cook quickly when emerged in hot water.

In 1971 when was Momofuku introduced his Cup Noodles. Google credited his invention for saying that “people have to eat no matter where they go, even outer space.”

Various flavors in the Cup of Noodles line. Credit: Yumi Kimura/Wikimedia Commons
Various flavors in the Cup of Noodles line. Credit: Yumi Kimura/Wikimedia Commons

Life suddenly became easier for college students, as well. Not only did Ando’s invention help out young adults, but it also inspired competitors like Maruchan who took off with their own inventions. You’ll see Cup Needles and Maruchan’s Instant Lunch sitting side by side on the shelves of grocery stores across the country.

Momofuku founded Nissin Food Products Co. with the creation of his instant ramen noodles. He introduced “Chikin Ramen” in 1958, and Cup Noodle in 1971. In 2005, Momofuku invented “Space Ram” that allows astronauts the ability to eat noodles in space. He was in his 90s then. Momofuku then died two years later in Japan.

What are your thoughts on Momofuku Ando’s life and his creation of Cup Needles? Is it a meal you’ve enjoyed during your college days?

[Image: Google, Screenshot]

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