Top Ramen noodles have been greatly influenced by the history of ramen. Lau Mein is a Chinese name for noodles. It got transformed to its Ra Me N, the Japanese pronunciation of Lau Mein when noodles became one of the popular regional dishes of Japan too. This immense popularity of noodles paved way for instant and packaged formulation of the same with the name Top Ramen.
Origin of Top Ramen noodles
Instant noodles were the brain child of Momofuku Ando. Thus, in 1950 he created Nissan Foods, the Japanese company. Its chief aim was to launch an instant and packaged variety of the traditional Chinese ramen as a treat for the young generation all over the world. But there was also a noble cause behind the invention too. The creator and the company felt sad about the post World War II victims who were literally struggling with hunger and scarcity of food. Thus, Nissan Foods thought of making instant noodles to feed these war victims. Finally, in 1958 Nissin Foods launched instant noodles in the consumer market. Momofuku Ando developed the system of flash frying of the noodle in the post cooking stage as the key concept behind instant noodles. This method ensured greater shelf life to these instant noodles too. During this time these noodles were marketed under the name, Chikin Ramen. But its dear price made it a luxury food item. In the later years when Mitsubishi Corporation took over its promotional part it gradually started gaining popularity. Its price also got reduced and Top Ramen got introduced as affordable instant noodle for the masses.
History of Top Ramen noodles
As the demand of noodles gradually increased all over the world and it became the most popular staple diet for majority of the Japanese youngsters, Mr. Momofuku Ando thought of launching instant noodles. Nissan Foods, the Japanese food processing company founded by Momofuku Ando desired to give a great treat for the youngsters in the form of instant noodles. Thus, Top Ramen instant noodles came into picture. These instant noodles were economical, easy to make at home and offered the same flavor as the traditional noodles people knew so far. The Top Ramen noodles now scored over their traditional counterparts as they took only two minutes to get prepared. These noodles came as noodle blocks with pouches containing the flavoring oil and condiments. While discovering Top Ramen noodles Mr. Ando was certain that the youngsters would never compromise with the taste and flavor of noodles. Therefore, he took special care about the packaging of Top Ramen noodles. So, the packagings were made waterproof and airtight and were available as noodle cups, packets or bowls. He was also aware that the taste buds of different parts of the world would never be identical. Hence, Top Ramen noodles would only get worldwide success it is could offer variegated flavors that would suit the likings of people in different parts of the world. So, before he launched Top Ramen in United States in 1970, he had introduced Top Ramen chicken flavor considering the preference of the US youths. The year following its introduction in United States, Nissin Foods launched its new version called Top Ramen Cup Noodles. This yet another portable version of noodles was widely appreciated by those who had already become fans of the brand by that time. These noodles came in a waterproof cup and were almost prepared. The customers were only supposed to pour some water inside the cups and cook the same in microwave for three minutes before consuming. At present Top Ramen sells meaty flavors along with mushroom and low spice varieties too to the US market. Similarly, for the countries like Korea, China, Malaysia, Thailand and India it has created a special Oriental flavor which has become an instant hit. Many other new flavors have also been introduced till date like Spicy Chile Chicken, Salsa Picante Shrimp, Chicken Vegetable, etc. The latest diversifications of Top Ramen’s product range are also varied. It now includes products like wide, flat and saucy Chow Noodles, Souper Meal with more noodles, vegetables and soup, the easy to cook, authentic, stir fried Chinese Chow Mein along with Bowl Noodles and Bowl Cup Noodles. Commitment towards quality and aim to satisfy customers have helped Top Ramen noodles retain its firm holding as pioneer of instant noodles in the world of stern competition.