yahoo news reports:
"Inventor of instant noodles dies at 96
Sat Jan 6, 6:02 AM ET
TOKYO - Momofuku Ando, the Japanese inventor of instant noodles — a dish that has sustained American college students for decades — has died. He was 96. Nissin Food Products Co., the company Ando founded, said on its Web site that he died Friday after suffering a heart attack. Born in Taiwan, Ando founded his company in 1948 from a humble family operation. Faced with food shortages in post-World War II Japan, Ando thought a quality, convenient noodle product would help feed the masses. In 1958, his "Chicken Ramen" — the first instant noodle — was introduced after many trials. Following its success, the company added other products, such as the "Cup Noodle" in 1971. "The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum" opened in 1999 in Ikeda City in western Japan commemorating his inventions. Ando gave a speech at the company's New Year ceremony and enjoyed Chicken Ramen for lunch with Nissin employees on Thursday before falling ill, Japan's largest daily Yomiuri reported. He is survived by his wife, Masako.
wiki notes: "Maruchan (マルちゃん) is a brand of popular ramen noodles. It can be found in a packaged form to be cooked on a stove, in a cup to which boiled water is added, or can be microwaved. It is a division of Toyo Suisan, a Japanese conglomerate. Maruchan is easily the most familiar brand of ramen in the United States and Mexico. Indeed, most Americans will think of ramen as the packaged instant noodle soup. However, in Japan, ramen is usually a fresh dish sold as fast food, often in train stations and at roadside stands, or at special "bars".
Rivalries (sometimes violent) have quickly developed between Maruchan and Nissin, the other leading instant noodle company in North America. Confrontations have developed in some college towns. Proponents of Maruchan insist that the company produces a wider array of flavors, and offers more cost friendly 6-packs."
noodle wars, eh?
one of my favourite poems by Roger McGough just jumped into my head. it is in my commonplace book:
One bright Thursday morning
P.C.Plod was on point duty in Williamson Square
when he was approached by an oriental gentleman,
new to the city, who wanted to know
the whereabouts of a certain Chinese restaurant.
To Plod, one Chinese restaurant was as good,
or as bad, as another, and so he
directed the old man to the nearest.
Ten minutes later, the old man returned:
'Please could you dilect me to Yuet Ben Lestaurant',
'That's a coincidence', remarked Plod
'You're the second Chinaman to ask me that in ten minutes, is there a party on?'
'Me same Chinaman', explained the same Chinaman.
To cover up his embarrassment,
Plod gave detailed directions
of a restaurant on the far side of the city.
The old man trundled off.
Twenty minutes later, tired and angry,
he was back in Williamson Square.
Lest a member of our Police Force be thought
less than wonderful and idiotic to boot,
Plod sought immediately to pacify
the stranger with polite conversation.
'Now then sir what have you there in that large bag
that weighs so heavily upon you?'
'In bag there is special Chinese flour'
'And what's that used for sir?'
persisted the trafficontrolling seeker
of eternal truth and wisdom.
'Ah well, special flour is mixed with water until velly soft and then whole family arrive for ceremony and everybody pull and roll and pull and roll and pull and roll until we have big soft noodle six foot in length.'
'Garn, silliest thing I ever heard', scoffed Plod
'What could you do with a big soft noodle six foot long?'
'You could put it on pointduty in Williamson Square'
suggested the old man and