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Invented by a Japanese guy in Osaka by the name of Momofuku Ando.

Usually consist of dried noodles that are "cooked" by the addition of HOT water and waiting for at least 2 minutes! Some even come in their own cup for you to add the water to.

It appears to be the staple food of Asians when they go to live abroad for a period of time. And especially if they are living on their own.

They have been around South East Asia since 1958, and have spread quickly to into "western" supermarkets.

Instant - fast, convenient meal - and tasty. Nutritious? I'm not so sure. But never short on new flavours!

Momofuku Ando, founder of Nissin, was actually Taiwanese Japanese. The family still controls the corporation and still can speak Chinese, so it should help them at doing business in the growing Chinese speaking markets.

Almost all instant noodle package instructions say pour in hot water and wait for 3 minutes. The manufacturers have the technology to make the noodles ready sooner but they've kept the traditional 3 minutes mark, so there's time for consumers to get worked up like a salivating dog waiting for the owner to say "Go!" When I was in first grade, I remember that 3 minutes of waiting felt far longer than 1 hour of not waiting for anything.

Further reading:

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