Noodles the food story
The origin of noodles is Chinese, and the earliest written record of noodles is found in a book dated to the Eastern Han period (25–220).Noodles were often made from wheat dough. It became a staple food for the people of the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE).
The oldest evidence of noodle consumption was from 4,000 years ago in China.In 2005, a team of archaeologists reported finding an earthenware bowl that contained 4000-year-old noodles at the Lajia archaeological site. These noodles were said to resemble lamian, a type of Chinese noodle.Analyzing the husk phytoliths and starch grains present in the sediment associated with the noodles, they were identified as millet belonging to Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica, although this was disputed.The earliest Chinese noodles, though, don’t appear as strands of dough — they were shaped into little bits, formed from bread dough, and thrown into a wok of boiling water. That kind of noodle, called mian pian, is still eaten in China. This was one of the most interesting pieces of research I came across that noodles in China actually began with its tradition of bread, something that is still widely eaten across northern China.
Wheat noodles in Japan (udon) were adapted from a Chinese recipe by a Buddhist monk as early as the 9th century. Reshteh noodles were eaten by the people of Persia by the 13th century. Innovations continued, as for example, noodles made from buckwheat(naengmyeon) were developed in the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392–1897). Ramen noodles, based on Chinese noodles, became popular in Japan by 1900.
By the sixth century A.D., noodles had become common in China, but only for the lower class. Fried and steamed dumplings, meat fillings enclosed in noodle dough, were being sold on the street. Noodle sellers also were peddling their products on the streets of Japan.
When the Magyars came from Asia to invade eastern Europe in the ninth century, they brought tarhonya, a dried wheat paste broken into small pieces. They would add these to whatever stews they were cooking. These dried pastes, which could be stored indefinitely, also were found in Greece and Persia. Food historians do not know if these came from the Magyar influence, which was spreading south, or if this was a natural development from the Italians.
Thus, both the Italians and the Chinese lay claim to inventing the noodle. However, noodles (or egg noodles, as we know them) are not the only ones. In an article National geography says Prior to the discovery of noodles at the Lajia archaeological site, the earliest record of noodles appears in a book written during China’s East Han Dynasty sometime between A.D. 25 and 220, Lu said.Other theories suggest noodles were first made in the Middle East and introduced to Italy by the Arabs. Italians are widely credited for popularizing the food in Europe and spreading it around the world.Additional evidence is needed to prove that the noodles found at Lajia are the ancestor of either Asian noodles or Italian pasta. “But in any case, the latter is only documented two millennia later,” Lu said.
Making of Noodles
The main ingredients used in dried noodles are usually wheat flour, palm oil, and salt. Common ingredients in the flavoring powder are salt, monosodium glutamate, seasoning, and sugar. The dried noodle block was originally created by flash frying cooked noodles, and this is still the main method used in Asian countries, but air-dried noodle blocks are favored in Western countries