The Gift of Ramen

Over the weekend, I read a book to the kids titled “Magic Ramen.” It was the true account of how what we know today as Top Ramen was created.

Sloan holds the book “Magic Ramen” that we read on Saturday.

In the aftermath of WWII, Japan was in poverty and hunger was rampant. A man named Momofuku Ando would walk through the streets of Osaka late at night in freezing temperatures and notice long lines of people. These men and women were waiting for hours to pay deeply inflated prices for a serving of noodle soup.

Guided by his philosophy of the world is peaceful only when everyone has enough to eat, Ando set out to make a dish that everyone could readily enjoy.

For an entire year, Ando experimented to create a hot and satisfying dish that would be cheap to produce and easy to make. After 12 months of trial and error, Ando hit the jackpot when he invented ramen. He had created a product that only needed a single ingredient from the consumer to make. By simply pouring hot water on the ramen, the noodles would cook and the water would turn to soup.

The point of “Magic Ramen” when Ando is successful in inventing ramen.

Throughout my childhood, Top Ramen was always in our cupboard. One of the meals in our dinner rotation was ramen and grilled cheese sandwiches. This Reser family staple filled our bellies on countless nights over the years. I can still taste the sandwich dunked in the ramen broth. So good!

We have ramen in the pantry at all times.

In college and during my time as a bachelor, Cup Noodles (which was specifically invented by Ando, too) could be found around my place. Nothing like heating one of those up and topping it with crushed Ritz crackers 😋.

Since Sidney and I have been married, we have always kept Top Ramen handy in our pantry. However, my wife is a little more imaginative with what you can do with the dish. She prepares what I call “gourmet ramen” as she adds teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, garlic, sesame seeds, and honey. We even used ramen once to make peanut butter pasta. But I still sometimes make ramen just as Ando intended…by simply adding hot water.

A look at some of Sid’s gourmet ramen.

I think sometimes in our privileged society, Top Ramen can carry a negative connotation. But I sure am glad that Momofuku Ando invented such a versatile dish that has fed billions, including this blogger. Don’t Blink.

One thought on “The Gift of Ramen

  1. Pingback: The Meals Around the Reser Family Childhood Table | Don't Blink

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