Chinese Noodles Predate Marco Polo

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  10.13.05 | 12:23 PM ET

It’s not often that explorer (and travel writer) Marco Polo makes the news these days, so we couldn’t pass up the chance to mention it here. It seems that Mr. Polo was not responsible for introducing the noodle to China, as some historians have contended. In northwestern China, scientists have discovered a container with 4,000-year-old, delicate yellow noodles. (And you thought the leftover macaroni in your fridge was stale.)

Reports the Los Angeles Times: “The easily recognizable noodles are far older than any that have previously beeen discovered and predate the first written mention of noodles by at least 2,000 years…” Chef Martin Yan told the paper, “This find definitely proves that the Chinese were making noodles way before the Italian Marco Polo came.” Anyone who has ever eaten handmade Chinese noodles—fresh ones, that is—shouldn’t be too surprised. The delicious, chewy noodles rival anything you’ll find in Italy and must have taken more than a few years to perfect.

On a side note, there’s nothing like an ancient noodle discovery to get the headline writers excited. Here’s a groan-inducing sampling: “Neolithic Chinese Used Their Noodles” (Los Angeles Times); “Noodle find a blast from the pasta” (The Sydney Morning Herald); “Oodles of old noodles found in China” (USA Today); and “Pasta its prime: 4,000 year-old noodles found” (The Globe and Mail).

1 Comment for Chinese Noodles Predate Marco Polo

Li Fang Wei 10.26.05 | 11:59 PM ET

Hi!! you’ve got a great blog about Noodle here !! I see that you like to speak about Chinese Noodle experience too. I love that. Check this other site out, Discover of 4,000-year-old noodle dish in China, it can be interesting.

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