Top Ramen is the most famous brand of ramen instant noodles. Maruchan Ramen is virtually the same thing, but cheaper and made in the USA. Often a staple diet of "poor college students", but as the economy continues to worsen, more and more it it become a staple of people everywhere. Currently sold in a 12pk at your local Walmart for $2.50 -- $3.00 or individually for less than a quarter.
Maruchan is a brand of instant noodles and is a division of Toyo Suisan, a Japanese conglomerate. The name translates from Japanese into English as "little circle." They can be found in a packaged form to be cooked on a stove, in a cup to which boiled water is added, or can be microwaved. The noodles contain no preservatives, although they are cooked in vegetable oil preserved with TBHQ.
Maruchan Ramen noodles are made in Irvine, California, USA, and Richmond, Virginia, USA.
Dried or precooked noodles fused with oil, and often sold with a packet of flavoring. Dried noodles are usually eaten after being cooked or soaked in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, while precooked noodles can be reheated, or eaten straight from the packet. Although similar products were available in dynastic China, modern instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Andō of Nissin Foods.
Instant noodles are often criticized as being unhealthy or junk food. A single serving of instant noodles is high in carbohydrates but low in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Noodles are typically fried as part of the manufacturing process, resulting in high levels of saturated fat and/or trans fat. Additionally, if served in an instant broth, it typically contains high amounts of sodium. The current U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance of sodium for adults and children over 4 years old is 2,400 mg/day. Some brands may have over 3,000 mg of sodium per package in extreme cases.
I've cut my monthly grocery bill to a fraction of what it used to be since I'm living on Maruchan Ramen!