While it seems like only yesterday that we mourned the passing of Momofuku Ando, inventor of the instant ramen soup beloved by college students and poverty-stricken recent grads the world over, let us today raise a cup (o’ noodles) to the fiftieth birthday of the beloved rectangular prism of noodley deliciousness.
Ando invented the pre-cooked, freeze-dried noodles in 1958, when he was 48 years old. When he was 61 he invented their kissing cousin, cup noodles. “In life,” he was known to remark, “there is no such thing as too late.”
This year, demand for his inventions is expected to surpass 100 billion servings. Staggering, yes, but surprising? No. As the man famously (and perhaps cryptically) said, “mankind is Noodlekind.”
[Photo: Ramen selection, via davidrmunson’s Flickr]