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Noodle News

March 05, 1997|CHARLES PERRY CHARLES PERRY

This year marks the 25th that Top Ramen, the instant Japanese noodle soup, has been sold in this country. Incidentally, instant ramen was invented in 1958 by a Mr. Momofuku Ando.

Early Diet Food: Pa^te de Foie Gras on Toast

More anniversaries. This is the hundredth for Melba toast, invented for the leading coloratura soprano of the 19th century, Nellie Melba. The story goes that one evening, she turned down a pa^te de foie gras sandwich because it was too heavy ("A sandwich, dear friend, at this hour goes against my taste and my figure"). Rather than serve her a dab of pa^te on a spoon, as she asked, the famous chef Auguste Escoffier served it on the thin, crisp toast he eventually named after her.

Peach Melba (peach slices poached in vanilla-flavored syrup, coated with raspberry puree and served on vanilla ice cream) was also invented for Nellie Melba. Incidentally, her real name was Helen Mitchell. She picked her stage name to honor her home town, Melbourne, Australia.

The Choc of My Life

The diamond ring giveaway that Godiva Chocolatier organized for Valentine's Day is settled--mostly. Two people have found certificates for a $10,000 one-carat diamond ring in their chocolate boxes.

Sherry Arata of Colorado found hers in a box given her by her husband; she has elected to give the value of the ring to Hale House, a New York-based sanctuary for children of drug abusers. Linda Kaiser of New Jersey bought a box of chocolates for her husband to mark the first Valentine's Day they were going to be apart in 30 years; she's going to give her ring to one of her daughters.

One more certificate is probably still out there.

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