Today in 1958, eaters looking for a quick, inexpensive and tasty option got what they were looking for: it’s the birthday of instant noodles.

The man known as the Father of Instant Noodles was Momofuku Ando.

Ando was born in Taiwan and came to Japan after World War II, a time when the country saw long-running food shortages.

He said he once saw people standing in a long line in a heavily wrecked part of Osaka hoping to order some ramen from a little stall.

Never mind that, at that time, you wouldn’t have expected Ando to be the guy who found a solution.

He had worked in banks and sold socks, among other jobs.

But that image of people waiting in line for ramen must’ve stuck with Ando, because in the 1950s, he set a goal: offer people a meal that was affordable, healthy, tasty, nonperishable and, maybe most importantly, could be put together in under three minutes.

The company says he worked for a whole year to perfect the recipe, sleeping just four hours a night and taking zero days off until he found a way to flash fry noodles so they could be reconstituted later.

All you had to do was add hot water and wait a bit, and your meal was ready.

The first version, known as Chicken Ramen or “magic ramen,” actually cost more than fresh soup at the market in its early day.

But it was a huge hit anyway.

People loved the convenience.

So Ando worked to make his product even more convenient, like developing a cup that consumers could buy the noodles in and also make noodles in.

Over time, instant ramen became a big part of Japanese food culture and spread to the rest of the world.

And Momofuku Ando became an icon in Japan, both for his instant noodles and his memorable quotes about noodles, like “peace will come when people have food.” and “mankind is noodlekind.”

Today in Askov, Minnesota, the Askov Rutabaga Festival and Fair is starting up.

There’s a parade, a 5K rutabaga run, square dancing, and the Rutabaga Royalty Coronation!

The Humble Origins of Instant Ramen: From Ending World Hunger to Space Noodles (Gizmodo)

Askov Rutabaga Festival & Fair

In just a few minutes you can make instant ramen or back this show on Patreon. Or both!

Photo by Christian Kadluba via Flickr/Creative Commons