For three days in January 2007, the most-emailed article in the New York Times was “Appreciations: Mr. Noodle,” an editorial noting the passing, at age ninety-six, of billionaire Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. The very existence of the noodle inventor came as a shock to many, but not to Andy Raskin, who had spent nearly three years trying to meet Ando. Why? To fix the problems that plagued his love life.
The Ramen King and I is Raskin’s memoir about how despair—and a series of bizarre adventures at Japanese restaurants—led him to confront the truth of his romantic past, and how Ando became his unlikely spiritual guide. Through letters ostensibly penned to the culinary sage, Raskin reveals a relationship history plagued by infidelity, jealousy, and betrayal. After devouring Ando’s essays (with titles such as “Peace Follows from a Full Stomach” and “Mankind is Noodlekind”), he sets out to meet the food pioneer—and to discover the secret to a committed relationship.
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