Momofuku Ando invented instant ramen (2016)

Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen noodles, has become a beloved figure in the food world. In Japan, instant ramen was voted the country’s top invention of the 20th century. Ando’s journey to creating ramen began in his 40s, after he saw people gathering around a ramen stall in postwar Osaka. He believed that noodles could solve world hunger and set out to create a quick-cooking version. Despite some controversy surrounding his corporate background and the luxury status of his early ramen products, Ando’s invention took off, leading to the creation of Cup Noodles in 1971. Ando also had an interesting approach to management, with quotes that sound more like Zen teachings than traditional business advice. One of his most famous quotes, “Mankind is noodlekind,” remains a mystery but is undeniably catchy.

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