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Published on Feb 26, 2020
The history of ramen features cameos from The Yakuza crime syndicate, the U.S. Army, and a businessman who turned a simple idea into a worldwide convenience food. Ramen is so much more than a cheap and filling meal. In this episode of Food History, we break down ramen as a cultural and historic artifact whose evolution continues today.
You’ll hear from a ramen lover who spent two years working in a Japanese ramen shop, and you’ll learn why ramen was practically outlawed in the years following World War II.
Food History is a series from Mental Floss where we dive deep into the culinary stories that lead to the food on our plates. If you have an idea for a dish, cooking technique, or cuisine that you’d like us to explore in a future episode, tell us in the comments. The history of Japanese food is the just the tip of the iceberg in fascinating food stories.