I eat soup noodles for comfort. In fact, noodles of any kind. It’s a food that is very easy to eat; it’s very soothing and comfortable, too. If I could choose any, I’d say buckwheat was my favorite: it has a very good flavor and is healthy, too.Nobu Matsuhisa
The steam rising from a bowl of noodle soup floats along and dissipates almost like a thing of magic, with rich aromas and the promise of a deliciously warmed belly. In cultures all over the world, noodles have served as a foundation of comfort food, and National Noodle Day celebrates this long history and the place they play in everyone’s life today.
History of National Noodle Day
It is estimated that the origin of noodles dates back as far as two thousand years, or possibly even further. The first mention of noodles in historical records is in a book from the Eastern Han period that dates from between 25 and 220 BC. This unleavened dough has been prepared in many ways, throughout many cultures, using many different ingredients. But one thing remains the same–noodles are almost always delicious!
Noodles–inexpensive, simple, and rather filling–has been a mainstay of the working class for many years. The instant cup of noodles heated quickly in the microwave during a short lunch period. The mainstay of the poor and college-bound, pre-packaged Ramen noodles are often the foundation of a person’s first culinary ventures, as they try to turn the only meal they can afford into something akin to food.
But noodles aren’t only cheap and filling! Now, consider the rich and flavorful bowl of mom’s chicken noodle soup, full of the rich flavors of chicken and carrots, and floating among them are the obligatory egg noodles, which somehow are just the thing to tie this delicious bowl of nutrition together.
For anyone who was born into Italian family, chances are they’ve experienced every kind of noodle the mind can imagine and a few to boot! Rigatoni noodles, spaghetti noodles served with a rich red sauce exploding with flavor, Asian Rice Noodles, or even Fettuccine noodles coated in a thick heavy Alfredo sauce interspersed with bits of chicken.
Noodles have been with mankind in nearly every culture out of history, and National Noodle Day reminds us that this basic and staple food is still the best way to fill a hungry belly at the end of the day.
How to Celebrate National Noodle Day
National Noodle Day can be loads of fun! Making noodles, eating noodles, and enjoying noodles with friends. Try these ideas for spending National Noodle Day:
Go Out for Noodles
Whether at a fast food joint or a sit-down restaurant, noodles are fairly easy to come by in a variety of restaurants.
Noodles and Company, in the United States, is a fast-casual dining place that focuses each of its dishes all around the noodle. Their noodles are all made by hand, and their menu ranges from standards like Macaroni & Cheese and Spaghetti & Meatballs to more unique offerings such as Alfredo MontAmore with Parmesan Crusted Chicken or Grilled Orange Chicken Lo Mein. They also offer gluten-free and vegetarian options for those with certain dietary needs.
It’s a noodle lover’s dream come true!
Get Clever with Ramen Noodles
Those little rectangular packets of dried noodles with a smaller pack of flavorings inside can be used for more than just making some soup! As it turns out, they’re extremely useful to have around the kitchen for a variety of needs. Try out these ways to use those ramen noodles:
- Make “Breadcrumbs”. The hard noodles can be crushed up into tiny granules (with a bit of the seasoning packet included). These work well as a substitute for recipes that call for breadcrumbs, such as schnitzel or meatballs.
- Use as a Dessert Topping. This might be surprising but those crispy noodles, when cooked with cinnamon and sugar and then fried, offer a delightful chopped topping that can replace nuts on ice cream sundaes or other desserts.
- Make Burger Buns. The great thing about ramen noodles is that, once cooked, they can be formed into almost any shape desired. Some people like to add a bit of egg, salt and herbs, then shape them into buns and fry them. These can be used for hamburgers or veggie burgers.
- Add Zest to Salads. Take that boring salad to the next level by adding the crunch of pizzaz of ramen noodles. Simply crush the dry noodles and toss them into a coleslaw and top with an Asian dressing. Delicious!
Try a New Kind of Noodle
In a world of thousands of varieties of noodles, the best way to celebrate National Noodle Day is by reaching beyond your comfort level and trying something new. If your culinary experience with noodles is limited to Instant Cup a Soup and Spaghetti, it’s time to try something new.
Explore the rice or buckwheat noodles from your local Asian store, or discover exactly what a Manicotti noodle is and what it is used for! You’ll find yourself marveling at the sheer variety of noodles and noodle dishes there are, enough to have a different dish every day for years!
Share Noodles with Others
Celebrating National Noodle Day with the community can be loads of fun. Take a noodle dish to the office to share with coworkers. Or invite a few friends or family members over to enjoy a meal with many courses–all of which include noodles!