The noodle is a type of staple food made from some type of unleavened dough which is rolled flat and cut into one of a variety of shapes. While long, thin strips may be the most common, many varieties of noodles are cut into waves, helices, tubes, strings, or shells, or folded over, or cut into other shapes. Noodles are usually cooked in boiling water, sometimes with cooking oil or salt added. They are often pan-fried or deep-fried. Noodles are often served with an accompanying sauce or in a soup. Noodles can be refrigerated for short-term storage, or dried and stored for future use.
In English usage, the word "noodle" is an inclusive term that denotes texture and culinary use, and to a lesser extent, shape, as many people may associate it with the more common string varieties, such as spaghetti or ramen. The material composition or geocultural origin must be specified when discussing noodles. The word derives from the German word Nudel.
In 2002, archaeologists found an earthenware bowl containing the world's oldest known noodles, measured to roughly 4000 years BP through radiocarbon dating, at the Lajia archaeological site along the Yellow River in China. The noodles were found well-preserved. They were described as resembling the traditional lamian (拉面/拉麵, lā miàn) noodle of China, which is made by "repeatedly pulling and stretching the dough by hand." The composition of the oldest noodles was studied by a team of Chinese researchers, who determined the noodles were made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet. The earliest written record of noodles is found in a book dated to the Eastern Han period (25–220) of China. Noodles, often made from wheat dough, became a staple food for people of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE).
Wheat noodles in Japan (udon) were adapted from a Chinese recipe by a Buddhist monk as early as the 9th century. Reshteh noodles were eaten by the people of Persia by the 13th century. Innovations continued, as for example, noodles made from kudzu (naengmyeon) were developed in the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392–1897). Ramen noodles, based on Chinese noodles, became popular in Japan by 1900.
Instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando and first marketed in Japan in 1958. According to Ando's method, a bundle of fresh noodles is flash-fried, which dries them out and provides for a long shelf life.
Europe and the Near East 
In the first century BCE, Horace wrote of fried sheets of dough called lagana. In the second century CE, the Greek physician Galen mentioned itrion, made of flour and water. The Jerusalem Talmud records that itrium, a kind of boiled dough, was common in Palestine from the third to fifth centuries AD. Arabs adapted noodles for long journeys in the fifth century, the first written record of dry pasta. Durum wheat pasta was introduced by Libyan Arabs during their conquest of Sicily in the late seventh century. The 9th-century Arab physician Isho bar Ali defines itriyya, the Arabic cognate of the Hebrew word, as string-like shapes made of semolina and dried before cooking. Muhammad al-Idrisi wrote in 1154 that itriyya was manufactured and exported from Norman Sicily. Itriya was also known by the Aramaic speakers under the Persian sphere and during the Islamic rule referred to a small soup noodle prepared by twisting bits of kneaded dough into shape.
The first recognizable reference to modern versions of pasta products in Italy dates to the 13th or 14th centuries. Pasta has taken on a variety of shapes, often based on regional specializations.
In the area that would become Germany, written mention of Spätzle has been found in documents dating from 1725, although medieval illustrations are believed to place this noodle at an even earlier date.
Types of noodles by primary ingredient 
- Bakmi: Southeast Asian Chinese yellow wheat noodles with meat, usually chicken
- Chūka men (中華麺): Japanese for "Chinese noodles", used for ramen, champon, and yakisoba
- Kesme: flat, yellow or reddish brown Central Asian wheat noodles
- Kalguksu (칼국수): knife-cut Korean noodles
- Lamian (拉麵): hand-pulled Chinese noodles
- Mee pok (麪薄): flat, yellow Chinese noodles, popular in Southeast Asia
- Pasta: made from durum wheat and cut into various shapes, originated in Italy but now known all over the world
- Reshte: Central Asian, flat noodle, very pale in colour (almost white) used in Persian and Afghani cuisine
- Sōmen (そうめん): thin variety of Japanese wheat noodles, often coated with vegetable oil
- Spätzle: a Swabian type of noodle made of wheat and eggs
- [[Thukpa]] (Tibetan: ཐུག་པ་, Wylie: thug pa): flat Tibetan noodles
- Udon (うどん): thicker variety of Japanese wheat noodles
- Flat or thick rice noodles, also known as hé fěn or ho fun (河粉), kway teow or sen yai (เส้นใหญ่)
- Rice vermicelli: thin rice noodles, also known as mǐfěn (米粉) or bee hoon or sen mee (เส้นหมี่)
- Idiyappam is an Indian rice noodle.
- Makguksu (막국수): local specialty of Gangwon Province in South Korea
- Memil naengmyeon (메밀 냉면): Korean noodles made of buckwheat, slightly more chewy than soba
- Soba (蕎麦): Japanese buckwheat noodles
- Pizzoccheri: Italian buckwheat tagliatelle from Valtellina, usually served with a melted cheese sauce
- Acorn noodles, also known as dotori guksu (도토리국수) in Korean, are made of acorn meal, wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt.
- Olchaeng-chi guksu, meaning tadpole noodles, are made of corn soup put through a noodle maker right into cold water. It was named for its features. These Korean noodles are mostly eaten in Gangwon-do.
- Cellophane noodles are made from mung bean. These can also be made from potato starch, canna starch or various starches of the same genre.
- Chilk naengmyeon (칡 냉면): Korean noodles made of starch from kudzu root, known as kuzuko in Japanese, chewy and semitransparent
- Shirataki noodles
Types of dishes 
- Basic noodles: These are cooked in water or broth, then drained. Other foods can be added (for example a pasta sauce) or the noodles are added to other foods (see fried noodles) or the noodles can be served plain with a dipping sauce or oil to be added at the table. In general, noodles are soft and absorb flavors.
- Frozen noodles: noodles are sometimes served in a salad. An example is the Thai glass noodle salad.
- Fried noodles: dishes made of noodles stir fried with various meats, seafood, vegetables, and dairy products. Typical examples include chow mein, lo mein, mee goreng, hokkien mee, some varieties of pancit, yakisoba, and pad thai.
- Noodle soup: noodles served in broth. Examples are phở, beef noodle soup, chicken noodle soup, ramen, laksa, saimin, and batchoy.
- Noodle casseroles: lasagna, kugel, tuna casserole, baked ziti, timballo, and pastitsio
- Cup noodles
- Instant noodles
See also 
|Look up noodle in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Noodles|
- Harper, Douglas. "noodle". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Ye, Maolin; Lu, Houyuan (2005). "The earliest Chinese noodles from Lajia". The Institute of Archaeology. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
- Lu, Houyuan; Yang, Xiaoyan; Ye, Maolin et al. (13 October 2005). "Millet noodles in Late Neolithic China". Nature 437 (7061): 967. doi:10.1038/437967a.
- Roach, John (2005). "4,000-Year-Old Noodles Found in China". National Geographic. pp. 1–2.
- "Oldest noodles unearthed in China", BBC News, 12 October 2005
- Sinclair, Thomas R.; Sinclair, Carol Janas (2010). Bread, beer, and the seeds of change: Agriculture's imprint on world history. Wallingford: CABI. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-84593-704-1.
- Momofuku Ando, TIMESONLINE January 10, 2007
- Serventi & Sabban 2002:24
- Serventi & Sabban 2002:15–16
- Serventi & Sabban 2002:17
- Serventi & Sabban 2002:29
- Serventi & Sabban 2002:10
- "A medical text in Arabic written by a Jewish doctor living in Tunisia in the early 900s" (Dickie 2008: 21).
- Rodinson, Maxime; Perry, Charles (2001). Medieval Arab Cookery. Prospect Books. p. 253.
- German Embassy London - Spätzle