7 Things about Ramen: Japan Food

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Ramen
Source: Hajime NAKANO

Ramen is the name that gives everyone chills and salivates their mouths once they even hear it whispered from afar or happen to catch even a glimpse of its appetizing smell.  Its popularity has been on the increase as almost everyone nowadays has a thing for ramen. Select ramen joints and restaurants now are found all over the country, and the compact majority have fallen for ramen so much that they have turned it into more a fancy lobster roll, an attractive hamburger ban or in some places, a burrito even.

The beauty of it all, it won’t take you even ten minutes to handle the hunger pangs in your belly. Just 5 minutes and they are ready to be gobbled. You now see why they are called instant noodles? Let’s just go through a few things that you will be perplexed you never knew about these tasty and addictive noodles.
1. Ramen is the Japanese word for the Chinese ‘Io Mein.’

1. Ramen in Japanese, ‘Io Mein.’ in Chinese

Ramen
Source: leighklotz

Fascinating history right? Well, at that, the Japanese somehow owe it to their neighbors for the name of this favorite last resort meal of theirs. According to a JA Sourcebook for Nikkei, Being Japanese American, ramens happen to be the pronunciation of the kanji characters in Japanese for ‘Iau mein’ or ‘Io mein’ in Chinese. Though, conspiracies never cease and some authors tend to believe the probable etymology tends to be ‘Iamian’. However you like it, though, it comes to all of our attention that ramen’s inspiration emanates from Io-mien, a boiled meal that was brought into play so many years past.

2. Initially Considered as a Luxury Item

Ramen in supermarket
Source: Francis Chang

Despite the fact that instant noodles come really in handy to most particularly when they are broke, and also serves quite vital to college students, ramen use to be very highly priced in Japan. After the second world war, there was a scarcity of food and Momofuku Ando, the inventor of Nissin ramen commodities, came up with a Chicken Ramen as an abrupt snack that could be consumed with much ease and at any place for that matter in the year 1958. Upon landing in the Japanese superstores and supermarkets, it’s value was quite high as it cost six good times the price of fresh udon noodles.

3. First Consumed Noodles in Space

In 2005, the noodle’s world legend Momofuku Ando managed to make ramen easy to devour and carry not only here on our planet earth but also in space. How impressive? A couple of years before he passed on, Ando came up with a unique vacuum-packed ramen, the Space Ram, that was designed with much smaller noodles such that it didn’t need boiled water for cooking. So as to curb dispersal as well, the broth was much thicker. This package was precisely developed for the famous Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, on his trip in the high-tech Discovery space shuttle.

4. Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama

Yes, you heard me right. An entire Museum, the CupNoodles Museum just dedicated to the rich history of the noodles item and the beautiful mind of the ramen creator Momofuku Ando. CupNoodles Museum exhibits a My CUPNOODLES Factory where esteemed guests can go about making their noodles concoctions and include beautiful fish cake pieces, the Naruto, with tiny cute animals marked on them. As if that’s not enough, there are more than 5000 different flavor concoctions as per the museum’s website.

5. Save Your Living Cost by Ramen

Yen
Source: Karl Baron

Unlike most meals, ramen is just generally cheap. Theoretically speaking, with a single pack going for about 14 cents on average, ramen could sustain your for the 365 days in a year at an aggregate cost of $142.35 if you make up your mind to leave off of the noodles alone.

6. Ramen as Best Japanese Invention

Ramen
Source: Guilhem Vellut

Looking at it, Japan fits to be the mother of most of the technological advancements. To the amazement of many, and in a proper Fuji research in 2000, a significant percentage of the population walk with their heads high for inventing the noodles. All this is so since; not only is it a national dish but also a global one at that and as such stands for what means to be ‘Made in Japan.’

7. Contains Half the Recommended Sodium Amounts

Nissin Top Ramen
Source: Bradley Gordon

It’s vivid that every dashing item has its cons and for the salty and tasty noodles, these are some of its downfalls. One package of the people’s choice Nissin Top Ramen Chicken Flavor has in it 1,820 milligrams of sodium while the recommended daily limits for FDA is 2,300 milligrams.  Further research shows that instant ramen (noodles) has been associated with diabetes and heart attacks.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Asia, Japan