Who invented the pasta?

Story: The journey of the noodle

Noodles are very popular all over the world. Spaghetti and penne are often and happily seen on every dining table - and have been for hundreds of years. We tell you the story of noodles!

Who invented the noodle?

Well, who invented it? No, not the Swiss this time. But who exactly invented the noodle is still unclear today. China and Italy argued for a long time over which of the two was first. In 2005 the certainty came: In excavations in China, a pot of noodles around 4000 years old was found. It was a kind of spaghetti, a little over half a meter long.

The Italians had to realize that the Chinese are the real ones, or at least the first "noodle inventors". The accusation that the Italians copied the production of the noodle from the Chinese is probably not true. It is more likely that the noodle was invented independently in several places.

Marco Polo and the noodle

It has long been assumed that the discoverer Marco Polo brought the noodle from China to Europe in the 13th century. Especially in Greece and Italy, pasta was already available in ancient times. Researchers discovered images of pasta-making equipment in 4th-century Italian graves. You can see a pastry board, dough tongs and a rolling pin, among other things.

The Spanish traveler Al-Idrisi reported in the 12th century about a thread-like meal made from flour that was made in Sicily. So it is proven that there was noodles in Italy long before Marco Polo's trip to China. But it is also certain that the highly respected merchant brought several types of pasta and also some recipes from China to Italy. And so maybe the noodle moved back to the center of the Italian menu.

Another assumption is that it was the Greeks who brought the noodle to southern Italy under the name "laganon" (large, thin pasta sheet cut into strips). The Romans changed the name to the Latin word "laganum". In some areas of southern Italy, the tagliatelle type of pasta is still called "laganelle" today.

Off on the clothesline

Old documents from the 11th and 12th centuries prove that Indians and Arabs also ate noodles. Both the Indian and Arabic words for noodle and the Italian "spaghetti" mean thread or string. Incidentally, the Arabs were the first to dry the dough noodles on clotheslines and make them durable.

Until then, the noodles had to be eaten immediately after production. When the Arabs occupied Sicily, they brought the method of drying pasta to Europe. Now the noodles could be taken along as provisions when traveling.

It can therefore be said with some certainty that the pasta actually began its triumphal march through Europe in Sicily, i.e. in Italy. Nevertheless, the Chinese have 4,000-year-old evidence that they probably knew the art of noodles long before the Italians and the Greeks. In any case, we are glad that the noodle was invented, no matter by whom or when. The main thing is with a lot of sauce.