Wednesday, May 23, 2007

History of Noodles

5000 B.C.
Wheat flour, believed to originate in the Middle East, serves as the basis of the first “noodles.” Chinese ate pasta as early as 5,000 BC.

2 BC
Wheat was grown in northern China by end of the second millennium. By fourth and third centuries BC, version of pasta existed in many cultures. Indian called it sevika, or thread; the French, noulles; German, Nudeln and the English, noodles.

Guangzhou in China considered to be culinary mecca of China. When the first Arab merchants arrived in the fourth century to serve as intermediaries between the Chinese and Greek, they established a steady commerce between China, India, Africa and Europe.

It was via this route that the noodle is said to have found its way from China, through the Middle East to Europe.

The Chinese form whole grain paste into various noodle-like products.

Amidst numerous cultural exchanges, China shares Buddhism and the art of noodle-making with Japan. Buckwheat noodles become a staple of the Japanese tea ceremony.

Arab geographer, Idrisi, travels to Sicily and writes about “triyah,” a food resembling threads and produced in large quantities.

Explorer Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy after encountered it at the court of Kublai Khan in China in 1295. However, the history shows that pasta, maccheroni and vermicelli were known foods before Marco Polo return to Italy.

German bakers made a precursor to pasta in the 13th century, when they rolled dough into symbolic shapes such as swords, breads and stars, which they baked and served as bread.

Early in the 1600s., the beginning of Japan’s Edo period, somen noodles and soba (buckwheat) noodles gained popularity in Tokyo and along the east coast. Because of a demand for soba as breakfast and festival food and street fare, farmer began sowing more grain.
The very first spaghetti is produced in Napoli, Italy.

Japanese specialty shops create noodles, similar to those eaten today, but requiring considerable preparation time and effort. It is believed that noodles originated from China as early as 5000 BC, then spread to other Asian countries.

Today, about 40% of the flour consumed in Asia is for Noodle manufacture. In recent years, noodles have also become very popular outside Asia and this popularity is likely to increase.
History of Noodles