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  • Some people associate instant noodles with broke college students.

  • But instant ramen wasn't created for a bunch of hungry 20 year olds.

  • The man who invented them was much more ambitious.

  • He set out to solve a hunger crisis in Japan.

  • After World War II, food shortages plagued Japanese cities, so the U.S. supplied wheat flour and encouraged the Japanese to make bread.

  • One man named Momofuku Ando didn't understand why his people would make bread instead of noodles, something that was already part of their culture.

  • Ando decided to take matters into his own hands and create a new ramen made to last.

  • He spent a year trying to figure out how to preserve the noodles.

  • He needed a nonperishable, tasty, and easy recipe.

  • But it was a challenge to maintain the robust flavors and unique texture that most people were accustomed to.

  • It wasn't until his wife was making dinner one night and he threw some noodles in a bowl of hot tempura oil that he realized flash frying the noodles was the answer he had been looking for.

  • This method not only dehydrated them, it left small perforations that allowed the noodles to recook quickly.

  • And there you have it, instant ramen noodles became an instant success.

  • Ando's products gained notoriety when he introduced the packaged ramen in the 1950s and later Cup Noodles in 1978.

  • His company began selling upwards of 40 billion units every year, and Momofuku Ando became a culinary icon in Japan.

  • So, the next time you heat up a cup of instant noodles, remember, you're slurping down a little piece of history.

  • (lively instrumental music)

Some people associate instant noodles with broke college students.

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