The invention of the century: who invented "Doshirak"

In 1934, he successfully graduated from the Ritsumeikan University School of Economics in Kyoto and received Japanese citizenship. Things were going well, but after the end of World War II, there was a decline. Ando in 1948 was sentenced to prison for tax evasion, and his company went bankrupt. However, Ando did not despair and soon began again from scratch, having founded a company for the production of edible salt. At this time, hunger reigned in the country that lost the war.

People were forced to stand in long lines for food. Therefore, Ando was very surprised when he heard that the Japanese Ministry of Health was literally urging people to eat bread from American wheat obtained as humanitarian supplies. Noodles were a much more familiar dish for the Japanese, however, the capacity of Japanese food companies was clearly not enough to provide the whole country. It was in this that Ando saw an opportunity to expand his business. He began experimenting with noodles, trying to make the dish tasty, inexpensive, and easy to make.

Instant noodles have been recognized as the premier twentieth century Japanese invention.

In fairness, it is worth noting that in this case he was not a pioneer: during the Chinese Qing Dynasty, the noodles were fried in oil, after which it could be stored for a long time, and if necessary, it was quickly prepared, pouring boiling water. Ando knew about this, it is unknown, but, having tried various methods of canning (salting and even smoking), he finally came to the conclusion that the most effective of them is roasting in palm oil with further final drying. In 1958, the first Nissin Food Products company product was introduced to the public under the name Chikin Ramen ("ramen" - traditional Chinese and Japanese noodle soup).

At first, the new dish was expensive and was considered a delicacy, but after a year, prices fell, and sales began to grow rapidly. In 1971, the company combined form and content and released its most successful product, which later became the world best seller - Cup Noodles, noodles in a styrofoam cup. Now it is one of the best-selling instant products: in 2005, 85 billion packages were sold worldwide! And in 2000, when answering a question about the main Japanese invention of the 20th century, the Japanese unequivocally put in the first place not ultra-modern computers or electronic devices, but a simple and nutritious dish familiar to almost every modern person.

The article was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 3, March 2008).


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