In a December 2000 poll, Japanese people chose instant ramen as the single greatest Japanese innovation of the twentieth century. In our never-ending winter, we couldn't agree more. Today is instant ramen 🍜 creator Momofuku Ando's 105th birthday, and Google made these super friggin cute doodles to celebrate!
Every broke college student/overworked cubicle dweller/person going through a breakup knows the four steps to happiness are:
"Peel off the lid.
Pour boiling water into the cup.
Let sit for three minutes.
Stir well and serve.”
Ando's invention has shaped so much of world culture. Ask anybody what the least expensive, most filling food you can buy is, and I'm willing to bet my noodle they'll say ramen noodles. Spending 48 years of his life figuring out the recipe for cup-of-noodles, Ando is a testament to hard work and perseverance paying off. After all, helping millions of people survive economic and natural disasters is no small feat.
Ando was such a futurist that he even invented "Space Ram" for Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi’s trip on the Discovery space shuttle, in 2005. Space Ram is edible even at zero gravity, with a broth thick enough to prevent dispersal and smaller noodles that can be cooked without boiling water. When Ando died in 2007, Noguchi delivered a eulogy to a baseball stadium full of mourners, including two former prime ministers of Japan.
The secret to instant noodles is tempura oil. After relentlessly trying to figure out a way to dehydrate ramen for longer shelf life, Ando threw his noodles in his wife's leftover tempura oil. 2 things happened: 1) the noodles dehydrated successfully, and 2) this frying process created little holes and perforations in the noodles allowing them to cook faster. Voila! Instant noodles were born.
According to Google's blog post about the new doodles:
It was Ando’s passion and dedication that Doodler Sophie Diao wanted to get across in her artwork. Ando, a lifelong entrepreneur who started his first business at age 22, found the inspiration to his greatest success while walking through the streets of post-World War II Japan: People were waiting for hours in long lines, just for a comforting bowl of ramen. Realizing hunger was the most pressing issue facing Japan, he felt a desire to help the people of his country.
Over on Google's doodle blog there are loads more quotes, facts, and preliminary ramen doodles (ha). Check em out while you slurp your lunch today!
Akilah Hughes is a comedian, YouTuber, and staff writer and producer for Fusion's culture section. You can almost always find her waxing poetic about memes and using too many emojis. 🍕