Many iced-in Seattleites are right now scouring their cupboards for lunch, which means plenty of locals will end up eating packaged ramen noodles - a happenstance that enormously pleases Edmonds' Hans Lienesch, the self-declared "Ramen Rater."
Lienesch is pushing for more eaters to commemorate Momofuku Ando Day, a grassroots celebration honoring the inventor of precooked instant noodles. The holiday got its start back in 2007, when a group of hospital workers in Dallas improvised a ramen potluck in memory of Ando, who had died two weeks earlier. Since the closure of the hospital in 2009, the holiday has existed primarily as a Wikipedia entry. "I found out about it on Monday," Lienesch admits.
Still, he thinks the annual commemoration is deserving of revival. He's contacted all the major ramen fan sites to alert them to the importance of Jan. 19.
"People ought to eat some noodles on Thursday," says Lienesch, who's planning to review chicken-flavored Nissin Top Ramen today. (Although he'd like to sample a vintage 1958 package, he's making do with a contemporary rendition of the classic variety.)
Although there isn't much debate regarding how to best celebrate Momofuku Ando Day, there's disagreement over its timing. Lienesch believes it should always be observed on Jan. 19, the date of the first ramen banquet in Dallas. According to Wikipedia, the holiday's traditionally observed on the second Friday in January. And a few ramen lovers think it's most appropriate to schedule an instant noodle tribute on Jan. 5, the day of Ando's death.
Ando, who attributed his 96-year life span to golf and a daily serving of instant chicken ramen, might suggest his fans stop quibbling and start slurping on all three proposed dates.