The Year in Food 2007


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Ramen King R.I.P.

Momofuku Ando—better known as the inventor of instant ramen and the patron saint of hungry college students—passed away last January at the age of 96 due to heart failure. Ando, who founded Nissin Foods in 1948, invented the just-add-water fried and dried noodle goodness in 1958 after witnessing the food shortages of postwar Japan. He’s quoted as saying, “Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat.” Ando worked on several versions of the classic meal before arriving at the successful Chikin Ramen. His boil-and-eat marvel reached universal notoriety (and great heights) in July 2005, when astronaut Soichi Noguchi ate it on the space shuttle Discovery. Thirty-four monks presided over Ando’s funeral at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome baseball stadium, and 6,500 people showed up to pay their respects. —Michele Foley