You don’t have to be Italian or Chinese to have noodles as a mainstay for dinner. Around the globe, pasta has become as common on the plate as rice or potatoes. For this reason, it is time to give this beloved food a little attention on March 11, national “Eat Your Noodles” day. So make up a bowl of your favorite pasta with your favorite ethnic flavors and take a moment to discover the history of food and why we love it!
Italians say the noodle is their cultural conception, while the Chinese believe it began in their history. It really comes down to your definition of noodle. Archeologists claim they have found noodles in Chinese history as far back as 4,000 years! A Chinese dictionary from third century A.D. speaks of noodles as little bits of boiled bread dough, like a dumpling. The first documented string pasta actually has its roots in Syria where it was made from semolina flour and dried before cooking. For most of us, a noodle is what we buy in bags or boxes on the pasta aisle at our local supermarket. In that case, it was invented in Japan in 1958 and considered an “instant noodle.”
Noodles Around the World
Cooking is extremely personal. It doesn’t matter who invented the noodle because every grandma, every culture, every city and every country does pasta their own way. Pho is a staple to the Vietnamese and hosts various flavors and qualities depending on the recipe and the garnish. Saimin is native to China but found its home in Hawaii. Wonton soup found in Hong Kong is another stuffed noodle like ravioli, and Shan noodles in Myanmar are one form of the very popular rice noodle. The most common rice noodle dish would be Pad Thai from Thailand, or flatten the rice noodles into sheets for spring rolls. Roll out egg noodles and you’ll end up with Pastitsio in Greece or Lasagna in Italy. Ramen is well known by all college students but takes on new meaning throughout China and Japan as thousands of ramen dishes garner flavors from region and culture. From German Spaetzle to American Mac n’ Cheese, pasta is global!
Noodles and Health
Luckily noodles can be made in many ways with many ingredients. Egg noodles, rice noodles, flour noodles, wheat noodles, gluten free noodles, and the list goes on. You can bake pasta, sauté pasta, boil pasta and create sauces, creams, vegetable medleys or simply add a little butter. Pasta is one of the most flexible bases for creating a meal, and you can make it as rich and heavy or light and healthy as you like. You can stick with your lifestyle of eating well and still enjoy “Eat Your Noodles” day. If you don’t have the time or energy to hunt for recipes, try Veestro’s Soba Noodles or Veggie Lasagna. Food is meant to be experienced and enjoyed. Don’t let “healthy eating” become misinterpreted as boring or flavorless. Take a look at Veestro’s 21 Day Kickstart plan and start enjoying your health once more. Happy noodle day!