The word ramen is a Japanese transcription of the Chinese lamian (拉麵).In 1910, the first ramen shop named Rairaiken (来々軒) opened at Asakusa, Tokyo, where the Japanese owner employed 12 Cantonese cooks from Yokohama’s Chinatown and served the ramen arranged for Japanese customers.
Beginning in the 1980s, ramen became a Japanese cultural icon and was studied around the world. At the same time, local varieties of ramen were hitting the national market and could even be ordered by their regional names. A ramen museum opened in Yokohama in 1994.
Interesting Facts about Ramen
- Ramen wasn’t always so cheap. When it was first released, it was actually considered a luxury because it was cheaper to buy fresh Japanese noodles (udon) from the grocery store than it was to purchase instant noodle.
- Riker’s Prison always has CupNoodles in stock. They are given the hot water to make the noodles and it’s a quick and easy meal to make. However sometimes, prisoners just use the seasoning packets to spice up their bland meals.
- It was said that Momofuku Ando got the idea to make an instant noodle product when he saw a line of people waiting in long lines patiently for a bowl of ramen. Thus, he wanted to create a product that was tasty, inexpensive, and easy to prepare. He first introduced the chicken ramen in 1958 and then the Cup Noodle in 1971.
- Invented by Momofuku Andu in 2005, the “Space Ram” is a vacuum-packed ramen made with smaller noodles and a thicker broth. This space food was invented for Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi’s trip in the Discovery space shuttle.
- There is so much technology in Japan, yet the instant noodle was named the best invention of the 20th century. In second place, karaoke.
- There are odd measurements out there in the world but when it comes to the length of the instant noodles, it is no mystery. 51 meters is equivalent to 2 basketball courts. What a length!
- Everyone says not to eat instant noodles too much but do you know why? Well, it contains tertiary-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a chemical used commonly to extend the shelf life of food. However, there are many negative side effects which include, but are not limited to, nausea, vomiting, collapsing, and high blood pressure.