Food - Drink
The Rarely Known Origin Of Ramen
By John Tolley
No matter the background whether you’re a hungry college student or a gourmand breathing deep over a wide bowl of ramen at one of the best ramen restaurants in the country, chances are that ramen has been there for you. Despite rising in popularity, this meal possesses an almost supernatural staying power.
A reason for this dish’s staying power is the varied ways it can be prepared, from being a relatively expensive dish to costing almost nothing. That and the range of ingredients that can be used to make this dish from vegetarian versions to broths steeped with bones to achieve a savory and creamy broth.
Despite this dish’s provenance in American kitchens, rarely do we ask about ramen’s origin story, although we should. To begin, one would probably assume that ramen is Japanese, but it isn’t that simple as it's one of the shared cultural ties between Japan and China.
In the 1860s, a way of preparing noodles called “Nankin soba” was introduced, a combination of the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese region of Nanjing and the name of an already popular type of noodle. It was the post-WWII era that solidified ramen’s success as during the food shortage that followed the war, the U.S. provided large access to wheat which they used for noodle production.
In 1958, a revolution in the world of ramen occurred, one that set it on the path to esteem it enjoys today, it was this year that culinary inventor Momofuku Ando invented instant ramen. It was the success of the instant noodle that solidified ramen as a staple in so many households even to this day.