The culture of eating noodles in Asia
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The eating etiquette is diverse around the world. The culture of eating noodles in Asia is quite different compare to that of the western countries. According to the western table manner, you shouldn't make sounds while eating and the polite way to eat spaghetti is to wind the spaghetti up on the fork and eat it in one bite. It is very impolite to eat half of the noodles and let the other half to fall back into your plate. But the correct manner used to eat noodles in Asia is the direct opposite of the manner of the western culture. For example, when you eat noodles in Japan, it is very impolite not to make sounds. Making slurping sounds while eating noodles is giving compliment to the person who cooked for you. If you eat your noodles quietly, that means you do not enjoy the noodles and you do not appreciate the work of the person.
It was widely believed that the noodles were first invented in China. The culture of noodles slowly spread out the other Asian countries like Japan and Korea because of travel and trade. After thousands of years of evolution, each Asian country has developed their own recipes of making noodles. The most popular noodles in China are gan mian and the white and opaque noodles. Noodles are made from unleavened dough that is composed of wheat flour and water. Besides rice, noodles is another very popular and traditional food in the Asian countries. Noodles made from stretching the unleavened dough into thin dough strips, sometimes salt is added, are called la mian. After the noodles are made, corn starch is sprinkled on the dough to keep them from sticking together. Other noodles that are made of rice flour and mung bean flour are very prevalent in China, too. The dried rice noodles, or mi fen, can be used as stir fried noodles. Chow fen, which is made of rice flour, potato starch, and corn starch can be used in the soup. In Japan, the noodles are called menrui. Japanese noodles are wheat based noodles found in Osaka and southern Japan. There are various types of Japanese noodles. Udon is the kind of noodle that is thick, round, square, or flat. Kishimen is wide and flat. Hiyamugi is thick, round, square and usually served cold. The Japanese noodles that is most widely known, Ramen noodles, was originally from China. It is steamed and dried and is good for quick eating. Korean noodles are called guksu or myeon. Thailand noodles are called mee.
The meaning of noodles in Asia
In China, people have the custom to eat noodles on the birthdays. The long and continuous noodle strips is the symbolic meaning of longevity. So people who choose to eat noodles on the birthdays show their wishes to live longer and maintain a better life.