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How Instant Ramen Became an Overnight Success

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Instant noodles are a miracle. When you're really broke, they are the cheapest meal you can eat in a hurry, with almost no kitchen equipment necessary. And if you aren't broke, you can dress them up with a variety of other foods. And kids love them. Personally, I avoid ramen because of the association of being way too broke for way too long, but I can understand how others look at these noodles more nostalgically. But where did they come from? Momofuku Ando set out to develop an inexpensive food that could be easily stored. Great Big Story tells us how he did it. -via Geeks Are Sexy 

I take them backpacking. Fast, easy, and especially good if it's cool or wet. Not uncommon in the North Maine Woods.

They also make a great side dish. Cook the noodles, drain well, stir in the spice packet.
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Other similarly cheap, quick and easy meals which don't require refrigeration include: boxes of mac & cheese, instant rice, stuffing, powdered potatoes, peanut butter crackers, cans of beans... etc

I only went without refrigeration for a brief period, but it left an indelible impression. It's always on my mind how much of my food will need to be trashed if my refrigerator quits suddenly, and I prefer shelf stable versions of foods (eg canned rather than frozen) where possible.
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