Every person has their fair share of memories with instant noodles. It might be their first ever successful cooked dish or it might be something even more personal. They make an instant connection with people because of its easy cooking style.
Instant noodles are the backbone of late night studies in every university worldwide. Not every dorm or hostel can get food delivered so once the canteen closes and the night falls you are left with whatever supplies you had brought, and all the snacks and chips you brought never last for more than a week.
The instant noodles pack might never be opened until it is the last thing remaining. But during exam time they offer you something fresh, something warm and something quick at any hour of the night or day.
Where did it come from?
Momofuku Ando invented the first-ever instant noodles in 1958 in Japan. Ando had 4 criteria drawn up in his mind. They should be tasty, non-perishable, be ready instantly, economical and safe.
The blocks of instant noodles are made by dehydrating the steamed and seasoned noodles in oil and heat. They can blend with almost anything and therefore you can see infinite flavour packages included varying even with geographical location.
Although it was a luxury item before which not everyone could afford as they were more expensive than the normal noodles. But people in Japan eventually saw that they were more convenient and slowly started adopting it as a part of their meal.
The idea of selling noodles in a cup came to Ando when he went on a business trip to the USA. He saw them reusing Styrofoam coffee cups as ramen bowls. This eventually helped him create makeshift heat-resistant containers for his instant noodles.
In 1971 the actual commercialization of instant noodles was started by Nissin, Ando’s company, by introducing cup noodles and later it captured the whole world. This helped Ando grow his market by a wider margin and now Nissin has sold over 20 billion units of cup noodles.
Why are they so popular?
They offer you the most basic necessities while preparing food. Fresh, hot and convenient AF. All it takes to prepare instant noodles is boil water, add the noodle block and flavour, and let it cook. If it’s an instant noodle cup then you just add hot water and relax.
However, it was recently popular for all the wrong reasons. Studies showed that they were carcinogenic.
It might very well be, but every one of those articles shows an unreasonable amount of consumption is required for you to get cancer. What makes them supposedly bad is MSG (monosodium glutamate) which is added to increase the shelf life of the packs. Now a lot of them are sold without MSG.
But no one ever claimed Instant Noodles to be healthy nor did anyone recommend them as a staple diet. They were just a quick convenient substitute when you did not have anything else.
In India making tea and Maggi qualifies as knowing how to cook food. Well at least in memes it does. But if there is one thing that unites everyone who can turn on a stove is the ability to make Instant Noodles!
Instant Noodles in India
Although Nissin was the first brand of cup noodles, in India the Instant Noodles market is largely dominated by Nestle’s Maggi. Maggi was launched in 1982 in India when instant noodles were not at all popular.
Maggi had all the time to set out a benchmark for instant noodles and they did an amazing job at it. They became a household name for instant noodles in India. Even bigger than the creators of instant noodles.
With the incredible success of Maggi, other companies eventually caught up to the trend of instant noodles in India. The same formula is being attempted to be replicated by brands like Top Ramen (Nissin), Knorr, Chings, Yippe and even Patanjali. Even then Maggi still remains as the bestselling brand in India.
Image Credits: Google Images
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