October 6 marks International Noodle Day. This tradition comes from the Chinese who believe that they were the 1st to ever eat the delicious strips.
Noodles are a Chinese culinary invention, now widespread throughout the world. But Italians claim that it was actually they who invented them. There are stories and legends which support the argument on both sides.
Thin strips of noodles are quite similar to Italian spaghetti, leading to the root of the argument about their origins. The main theory goes that in 1296 the seafarer and merchant Marco Polo brought noodles from China to Venice.
Another states that the thin strips became popular in Italy thanks to Arabian conquerors.
An archaeological find, unearthed 7 years ago, sheds some light on the origins of noodles. Archaeologists in northwestern China discovered a pot of noodles over 4 millennia old.
One of the pros of noodles is that they're easy to make. They're ready in just 15 min. and can feed the entire family. They are made of boiled dough and are often called "rice spaghetti" as well.
Strangely, the word noodles comes from the German word nudel, in Latin nodus, i.e. - knot. But in that part of the world their word for noodles is the common term pasta. The word pasta, in turn, comes from Latin and literally means dough for cakes. This makes determining the true origins of noodles even harder.
But there are several key differences between noodles and pasta. While the Chinese version is made from wheat, rice, black-eyed peas, acorns and starch, Italian pasta is made from hard wheat, water, eggs and semolina. It is dried or fresh, while noodles are cooled and fried.
There are also differences in the methods of consumption. Pasta is eaten hard, while noodles are usually eaten very soft.
And while in Italy they're debating proposed legislation that would prohibit the production of pasta from anything other than wheat, the Japanese have voted noodles as the best invention of the 20th century.