12:29:13 PM Oct 25th 2012
It's somewhat strange that Pot Noodles are actually quite expensive now.
09:01:46 PM Jan 1st 2011
edited by Khathi
edited by Khathi
The concept of dehydrating noodles is pretty recent; it was developed to create efficient meals for potential space travelers. You may have seen astronaut ice cream, peaches, and the like; the concept is the same here. The noodles have been freeze-dried to remove the moisture out of them with minimal harm to their texture, flavor, and nutritional content (yes, it exists). Space programs in Asia never really took off (pardon the pun), but the manufacturers realized that what they had just created was easy and convenient to transport, was dirt-cheap to produce, and could be turned into a meal by even those with no kitchen talent whatsoever. Who the hell invented that crap about "astronaut food"? Instant noodles actually throw every requirement for actual space food out of the window, so to say. They were actually invented by a guy named Momofuku Ando, a naturalized Taiwanese immigrant who, among his many commercial ventures, was once a successful salt merchant and knew the food industry inside out. Once in 1947 he saw a long line to the ramen shop in Tokyo, and thought that it'd be nice if the people wouldn't need to wait outside for hours. He then went to experiment in his storage-shed-turned-a-lab in his backyard, and after 7 years of experiments finally found a solution: fry the freshly boiled ramen in palm oil until crisp to remove moisture, then pour concentrated chicken stock over, dry it off and sell. So in 1954 his first product, Nissin Chicken Ramen, was out. Later, he or some his employeee invented a styrofoam cup, and so Nissin Cup Ramen was born. Ando died several years ago, at the ripe old age of 94 (eating his invention everyday, mind you), but Nissin, his company, remains the largest player on the market up to this day.