Of course, we aren’t really talking about Chinese noodles. Not in the sense of noodles from China, anyhow.
Jeno Paulucci was born in 1918 in Aurora, Minnesota. He worked in grocery stores growing up, and apparently spent a lot of time looking at the shelves. During World War II, he served in the Pacific, where he watched his fellow soldiers devour then-exotic Chinese food. In 1947, he invested $2,500 in starting a company to make shelf-stable Chinese meals. He named the company Chun King, supposedly because he thought it sounded like it could be a Chinese city.
But someone had already figured out what to do, which brings us to Michigan.
So what made Chun King’s contribution as interesting as La Choy’s? A piece of tape. La Choy sold the cans separately. Chun King attached the cans together and sold them as a ready-to-eat meal, dramatically increasing its popularity.
Jeno sold Chun King to R.J. Reynolds in 1967 for $63 million in cash, but he keep on cooking. Later contributions would include Jeno’s Pizza Rolls and a frozen food company he named after his mother, Michelina’s.
La Choy eventually packaged their products the way Chun King did. And then, this happened…
From the box of D.W. from Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Tuna Crunch Salad
For a luncheon
2 cans tuna, drained
4 hard boiled eggs, grated
1 cup sliced black olives
1/2 to 1 cup diced celery
chopped onion to taste
1 cup Chinese noodles
Combine first 5 ingredients with Miracle Whip. Just before serving stir in Chinese noodles. Serve on bed of chopped lettuce sprinkled with chopped tomatoes.