Noodles are a good example of how Asian snacks have spread to Western countries. Today noodles can be found in most supermarkets in the UK. However, this was not always the case.
For many years noodles were considered an exotic dish by British people and it was unusual to see them being served in restaurants. News sites such as Metro have recorded the rise in popularity of noodles within the UK. The main reason for this development is a change in public tastes, the affordability of noodles and the convenient methods for cooking them.
Noodles are made from a type of unleavened dough that is stretched out until it forms long strings. They are usually cooked with boiling water. Pan frying and deep frying are also popular cooking methods. It is rare for people to eat them plain. Instead they are mixed with sauce or used as a main ingredient in soup.
In the 1950s instant noodles were developed in Japan. These are a form of noodle that is precooked and then dried. Once boiling water has been added to them they are ready to be consumed. This saves the customer the time it would take to cook it themselves. A packet of flavouring is included which is meant to be mixed with the noodles.
In Asian countries instant noodles are cooked by flash frying them. However, Western consumers tend to prefer air dried blocks of noodles instead. This is the dominant form of the product within the UK. In the 1970s a cup version was released. It has since been marketed worldwide. The word Ramen has become a generic term for instant noodle products.