Thursday, 6 October, marks International Noodle Day 2022 – a day when people all around the world, especially those living in Asia, come together to celebrate a meal that has 4,000-year-old roots in China.
The word "Noodle" derives from the German word Nudel and the word "Nudel" reportedly comes from an old German word "Knodel or Nutel" – meaning "dumpling," a "turd" or "small knot."
According to experts, noodles, of various shapes and forms, are an instant source of energy, high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, manganese, and (folic acid) – Vitamin B9).
We Bangladeshis, mainly kids, students and people living in hostels and messes, have a fond relationship with noodles – a food that is easy to cook, cheap to buy and makes one feel full.
At present day, we have noodles made of zucchini, black beans, quinoa and kelp, in addition to the traditional types – rice and pasta noodles – that can be found worldwide.
As per TasteAtlas, an experiential travel guide for traditional food, Japan's "Ramen" is the most popular noodle dish in the world while Vietnam's "Pho" and Thailand's "Pad Thai" have been placed in second and third place respectively.
According to National Today – a website that keeps track of fun holidays and special moments on the cultural calendar – the oldest historical mention of noodles appears in a dictionary from the third century AD in China.
In 2005, a 4,000-year-old bowl of noodles was unearthed in China. The scientists who worked at the excavation suggested that the meal has an Asian, not Italian, origin.
The 4,000-year-old noodle variety consisted of millet – which is indigenous to China – unlike modern Chinese noodles or Italian pasta that are made mostly of wheat, reported National Geographic following the discovery.
The earliest noodles were shaped into little bits, formed from bread dough, and thrown into a wok of boiling water, and it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when and where the staple food originated.
Prior to this discovery, the earliest record of noodles appeared in a book written during China's East Han Dynasty sometime between AD 25 and 220 while others suggest that the meal was first made in the Middle East and introduced to Italy by the Arabs.
But there is no concrete proof, that has been found as of yet, to support this claim.