Nowadays, instant noodles are popular all over the world. For many people, it is an integral part of the daily diet because it’s cheap and easy to cook. Sometimes it is used as one of the ingredients for more complex dishes.
Cool facts about instant noodles
- The shelf life on packages of instant noodles is usually indicated as no more than 12 months from the date of manufacture. In fact, noodles can be stored for many years and not deteriorate in a dark, dry place with a low humidity level. However, sauces in the package will get spoiled much faster.
- At first, instant ramen was a very expensive product. It cost 5-6 times more expensive than ordinary noodles, which had to be boiled.
- In Thailand, locals call all instant noodles “mama”. In fact, “Mama” is one of the Thai brands, but it is so popular that all kinds of similar noodles have been called that way there.
- A long time ago, in 1971, the Japanese company Nissin began putting noodles in a foam cup in which they could be cooked without using other dishes. Later the company also added vegetables and other ingredients, which turned noodles into soup. Nowadays, there are lots of sorts of ramen with such veggies as carrots, tomatoes, etc.
- Instant ramen is actually no more unhealthy than ordinary cheap pasta or spaghetti, which means that’s normal food. However, some manufacturers add various flavorings, some of which can’t be called healthy at all.
Statistical facts about instant noodles
- Every year, people eat more than 100 billion servings of this food. This is about 13 times more than the population of the Earth, that is, on average, there is a little more than one serving per month per person. 270 million portions are eaten around the world every day.
- Noodles are the most popular instant food in the world. It is much more popular than dehydrated potatoes and other products.
- In 2000, a large-scale sociological survey was conducted in Japan on the topic of the most significant Japanese invention of the XX century. Instant noodles got first place, karaoke – second, and CDs – fifth.
- Instant ramen is most popular in Asian countries. The first place in its popularity among the population is occupied by China, which accounts for more than 60% of its global consumption.
- In Thailand, there is a special index showing the consumption of instant noodles depending on the economic situation in the country. In times of crisis, the consumption of this product is constantly growing, as people do not have enough money for other food. The cheapest instant noodles in Thailand cost 6 Thai baht (less than 10 a dime).
- Most manufacturers add sodium glutamate to their noodles to improve the taste, sometimes quite a lot. However, the harmfulness of glutamate is greatly exaggerated, and there is no evidence that it can harm the human body at all if consumed in reasonable quantities.
- In 2005, scientists invented special instant noodles for astronauts, which can be cooked in zero gravity, and without boiling water.
- In Japan, in Osaka and Yokohama, there are museums entirely dedicated to this product. You can visit them (there are also virtual tours available) free of charge. There is a similar museum in Hong Kong as well.
- Instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando, a Japanese of Chinese origin. He began producing it in 1958.
- This product can be eaten raw, and some people like it. In India, Nepal, South Korea, and a few other countries eating dry raw instant noodles with seasoning is quite popular.