History of Instant noodles インスタントラーメンの歴史

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Jan 12, 2011 07:11 noodles
In 1958, Nisshin Chicken Ramen 日清チキンラーメン, the first factory-made instant noodles ever in the world, was sold in Japan. People reportedly said 'This is a magic ramen!' and it soon became popular in Japan. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the word 'ramen' became common in Japan due to the enormous success of Nisshin Chicken Ramen. People had called ramen 'Chinese noodles' 中華そば、支那そば before. The original Chicken Ramen has rather simple flavour, but is still popular these days.

The same company, Nisshin, invented and sold 'Cup Noodles' カップヌードル in 1971. Cup Noodles doesn't need a stew pan or bowl to cook and eat. Noodles are already in a styrene cup. You just pour hot water and wait for three minutes. Then you'll have hot noodles in soup with pieces of vegetables and meat balls in your hands. Very easy.

The owner of the company once tried to sell Chicken Ramen in US, but of course Americans didn't have a bowl or chopsticks. Some of them tried to make Chicken Ramen in a paper cup nearby and used a fork to eat it. Through this experience, the owner realized that he needed to make instant noodles which can be cooked in a paper cup. That was the beginning of Cup Noodles.

It is said the development of Cup Noodles was not that easy. They had to find out special preparation of noodles which allows them to recover quickly and nicely with hot water. The developmental process was featured in a TV programme called 'Project X' プロジェクトX on NHK several years ago and became famous among people.