Noodles are a type of food made from unleavened dough which is rolled flat and cut, stretched or extruded, into long strips or strings. Noodles can be refrigerated for short-term storage or dried and stored for future use.
Noodles are usually cooked in boiling water, sometimes with cooking oil or salt added. They are also often pan-fried or deep-fried. Noodle dishes can include a sauce or noodles can be put into soup. The material composition and geocultural origin is specific to each type of a wide variety of noodles. Noodles are a staple food in many
The earliest written record of noodles is found in a book dated to the Eastern Han period (25–220 CE). Noodles made from wheat dough became a prominent food for the people of the Han dynasty. The oldest evidence of noodles 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. However, other researchers cast doubt that Lajia’s noodles were made from specifically millet: it is difficult to make pure millet noodles, it is unclear whether the analyzed residue were directly derived from Lajia’s noodles themselves, starch morphology after cooking shows distinctive alterations that does not fit with Lajia’s noodles, and it is uncertain whether the starch-like grains from Laijia’s noodles are starch as they show some non-starch characteristics.
Food historians generally estimate that pasta’s origin is from among the Mediterranean countries: a homogenous mixture of flour and water called itrion as described by 2nd century Greek physician Galen, among 3rd to 5th century Palestinians as itrium as described by the Jerusalem Talmud and as itriyya (Arabic cognate of the Greek word), string-like shapes made of semolina and dried before cooking as defined by the 9th-century Aramean physician and lexicographer Isho bar Ali.