Eupedia Forums
Site NavigationEupedia Top > Eupedia Forum & Japan Forum
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Origin of Pasta

  1. #1
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    1 members found this post helpful.

    Origin of Pasta



    I'd like to figure out the origin of pasta once and for all. Were there 1,2 or 3 centers of origin for noodles?

    1. Italy
    2. Iran
    3. China

    First off the Marco Polo story is complete BS. There was pasta in Europe well before that man was born.

    However, is it possible noodles were invented in China and the concept traveled west along the Silk Road?

    The first mention of noodles is from between 25- 220 CE in Chinese sources.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_noodles

    The Silk Road started in 114 BCE.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road

    Wikipedia unfortunately gives a Chinese origin for all noodles.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noodle

    Then there was the apparent 4000 year old noodles found in China.
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/n...ound-in-china/
    Except that seems like BS because you can't make noodles out of millet.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...4.2010.00539.x

    According to this source Greeks invented pasta but dried pasta is an Arab invention.
    https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-...-say-its-roots


    There's also theories of pasta originating in Persia. Was this independent or influences by the other two centers?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...de1_story.html

    There's even theories the Chinese learned noodles from Persians. Guess now they know what it feels like for your most previous food to be theorized to have outside origins based on shaky grounds.

    Laksa a term which derives from the original Persian word for noodle, lakhsha(meaning ‘slippery’). Although Iran has not been a heavy consumer of noodles, it has an ancient history of noodle-making; indeed, there has been speculation that the Chinese learned the idea of noodle-making from the same Persian merchants who introduced the flour mill to them during the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). The term lakhsha was certainly used in medieval Arabic and has shown considerable powers of survival. It is still used in E. Europe (Hungarian laska, Russian lapsha, Ukrainian lokshina, Lithuanian lakstiniai) and in Afghanistan (lakhchak).
    Also, it is known that Arab traders or Indian Muslims had spread the use of pasta to Indonesia in perhaps the 13th century. The old Indonesian and Malaysian name laksashows that this pasta originated in Persia, not from a Chinese source (as in the case of the modern Indonesian name mie).
    A quaint Persian tale retold in a 10th-century Arabic recipe collection has King Chosroes I offhandedly inventing laksha during a hunting expedition in the course of a discussion of how to flavour a soup of wild ass’s meat. However, by the 13th century, reshteh (‘string’) had supplanted it, and this is now the usual word for a flat, sliced noodle in the Near East.

    http://languagehat.com/davidsons-companion-to-food/

    I always thought Manti and other West/Central Asian dumplings were a Turkic invention (borrowed from the Chinese of course) but the reliable Oxford companion to Food says there was an ancient Iranian form of dumpling called Joshpara.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=RL...shpara&f=false

    ------------------------------------------------
    So to sum up how many origins of noodles do we have? 1,2,3? Are some form of dumplings indigenous to Iran? Is ravioli related to anything eastern?

  2. #2
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    I'd also be curious on the origin of the egg noodle type dishes eaten in Germanic regions such as spatzle. And also dumplings like knodel. I'm guessing the former are influenced by Italian pasta. And the latter are technically dumplings but definitely not in the traditional sense so I'm guessing they are indigenous to Germanic and Slavic countries in Central Europe.

  3. #3
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    18,072
    Points
    395,965
    Level
    100
    Points: 395,965, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.7%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    I don't think these kinds of questions can ever be answered. So many of these foods could have been invented independently, or an idea could have traveled along trade routes.

    As for pasta, I don't think it matters who invented it; we perfected it. :)


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

  4. #4
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I don't think these kinds of questions can ever be answered. So many of these foods could have been invented independently, or an idea could have traveled along trade routes.

    As for pasta, I don't think it matters who invented it; we perfected it. :)
    So its also possible noodles traveled from west to east?

    Obviously it'd be hard to disagree with your last sentence.

    I'm just a little tired of people trying to find an East Asian origin for European food from pizza, pasta, bacon, torrone, yogurt to hambug steak and steak tartare.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1 year registered5000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    10-05-19
    Posts
    680
    Points
    8,227
    Level
    27
    Points: 8,227, Level: 27
    Level completed: 13%, Points required for next Level: 523
    Overall activity: 7.0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    I2-M223
    MtDNA haplogroup
    H2A3

    Ethnic group
    Italian-Siicly-South
    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by ratchet_fan View Post
    So its also possible noodles traveled from west to east?

    Obviously it'd be hard to disagree with your last sentence.

    I'm just a little tired of people trying to find an East Asian origin for European food from pizza, pasta, bacon, torrone, yogurt to hambug steak and steak tartare.
    Pizza is Neopolitan, period, end of discussion. Whoever invented noodles, the dishes that Italians developed with respect to various forms of pasta are Italian dishes. Period end of discussion.
    We know Wheat was first cultivated in the Natufian period in the Levant and spread to Neolithic Italy so I am sure the Neolithic Italians were experimenting with Wheat products dating back to circa 6,000 BC, etc.

    In Sicily, I can honestly examine history and acknowledge that almonds, sugar cane, oranges and rice were introduced in Sicily by the Saracens, all those things come from the Middle east. Obviously, the agricultural techniques to grow those crops came from the Levant-Middle East as well. Almonds likely were brought there maybe in Roman period from Middle east. . However, certain dishes in Sicily such as Arancini (rice balls), or Granita (which uses sugar) were Sicilian cuisine using goods introduced there by other cultures.

    The pasta dishes my Grandmothers cooked, say for example on San Giuseppe Day, which is always in Lent, is a Sicilian dish, pasta, red gravy (Sugo) and bread chromes and finochi (hell can't remember how to spell it), no meat, with eggs sometimes are not from somewhere else. The Christmas Fig cookies, cucciadati in Sicilian, I think is the spelling again is uniquely Sicilian. I think Figs are indigenous to Sicily, but yes Sugar from the Levant is used for the cookies, as our Artichokes, which is another famous Sicilian dish, stuffed Artichokes with Italian bread crumbs and cheeses, etc.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    Pizza is Neopolitan, period, end of discussion. Whoever invented noodles, the dishes that Italians developed with respect to various forms of pasta are Italian dishes. Period end of discussion.
    We know Wheat was first cultivated in the Natufian period in the Levant and spread to Neolithic Italy so I am sure the Neolithic Italians were experimenting with Wheat products dating back to circa 6,000 BC, etc.

    In Sicily, I can honestly examine history and acknowledge that almonds, sugar cane, oranges and rice were introduced in Sicily by the Saracens, all those things come from the Middle east. Obviously, the agricultural techniques to grow those crops came from the Levant-Middle East as well. Almonds likely were brought there maybe in Roman period from Middle east. . However, certain dishes in Sicily such as Arancini (rice balls), or Granita (which uses sugar) were Sicilian cuisine using goods introduced there by other cultures.

    The pasta dishes my Grandmothers cooked, say for example on San Giuseppe Day, which is always in Lent, is a Sicilian dish, pasta, red gravy (Sugo) and bread chromes and finochi (hell can't remember how to spell it), no meat, with eggs sometimes are not from somewhere else. The Christmas Fig cookies, cucciadati in Sicilian, I think is the spelling again is uniquely Sicilian. I think Figs are indigenous to Sicily, but yes Sugar from the Levant is used for the cookies, as our Artichokes, which is another famous Sicilian dish, stuffed Artichokes with Italian bread crumbs and cheeses, etc.
    Yes that's a good point. Pasta (and the preparations that the term implies) is Italian through and through. I'm hoping the idea of noodles are Italian too (or at least from somewhere in the Mediterranean region). You're right though that wheat has a long history in the region and it isn't ridiculous to think there were experimentation with what in different forms was going n. I'm hoping some archeological evidence for that exists or pops up.

    Sugar is interesting as it took a path from Austronesia-> India->Arabs->Europe.

  7. #7
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    18,072
    Points
    395,965
    Level
    100
    Points: 395,965, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.7%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    As for why eggs are added to flour in the north when making pasta...

    The wheat which grows in northern Italy is "soft"; it's called 00 flour. It's low in protein, so with just water and salt it's difficult to make it bind together. There are some plain flour and water pastas, however, such as the trofie popular in Liguria.

    In the south they use a "harder" flour, called durum flour, which has a bit of protein, so all they use is flour and water to make the sheets of dough.

    Imo, any culture which grows a lot of wheat is going to combine it with water and salt and make different foods from it.

    I do think that German "egg noodles" and wienerschnitzel were adopted from Italians through the long German rule of Lombardia.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    As for why eggs are added to flour in the north when making pasta...

    The wheat which grows in northern Italy is "soft"; it's called 00 flour. It's low in protein, so with just water and salt it's difficult to make it bind together. There are some plain flour and water pastas, however, such as the trofie popular in Liguria.

    In the south they use a "harder" flour, called durum flour, which has a bit of protein, so all they use is flour and water to make the sheets of dough.

    Imo, any culture which grows a lot of wheat is going to combine it with water and salt and make different foods from it.

    I do think that German "egg noodles" and wienerschnitzel were adopted from Italians through the long German rule of Lombardia.

    That makese sense.

    I also agree that it isn't hard for a wheat based culture to come up with the idea of combining wheat with water. We see some pasta like products in West Asia too. I guess the same applies to the concept of dumplings. Its just dough with stuff inside. Not the hardest thing in the world to invent. Its the specific preparation associated with it that show culinary creativeness. And in terms of noodles/pasta nobody beats the Italians.

    I'm guessing pollo frito or milanesa became wienerschnitzel and weiner backhandel in Austria and Germany and those became chicken fried steak in Texas (which is also delicious).

    I don't know who came up with the Marco Polo myth but screw that person. I even read ice cream in Italy also has its origins in sherbert like this dishes Marco Polo brought back from China. Like really? Romans had precursors to ice cream. They didn't need Marco Polo to teach them that. Not to mention sherbert is ultimately a Persian or Arabic word and there is a long history of those type of dishes in West Asia. Heck the Persians had an ancient type of fridge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakhch%C4%81l) to store ice to make desserts. If ice cream isn't originally Italian then its probably from that part of the world which was in contact with Europe since forever. http://www.icecreamhistory.net/froze...ted-ice-cream/
    Last edited by ratchet_fan; 07-07-20 at 17:16.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    I also never understood the attribution of sauerkraut to China or the concept of pickling to India. The latter seems universal and the former has similar things in Roman and Greek culture

  10. #10
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    I think saying Italians learned pasta from the Chinese fits in with the general agenda of trying to minimize European contributions to humanity. Also deny that Europeans have a unique heritage and culture.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    I do wonder how Eastern Europeans started eating dumpling type dishes. From Turkic manti or did tortellini make its way north? Is there any relation of tortellini to eastern dumplings? What about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maultasche?

  12. #12
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    18,072
    Points
    395,965
    Level
    100
    Points: 395,965, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.7%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    Any woman looking at a mound of flour, an egg, and a pot of boiling water could have come up with a dumpling, whatever her ethnicity. Whether she has talent and can make it digestible and not just a mound of wet flour sitting in your stomach like a stone is another matter.

    People made "flat" bread, made of just cereal flour of some sort, or corn flour, an oil, and quite a bit of water, from time immemorial and in every corner of the globe. Nobody needed to teach the technique to anybody else.



    In Podenzana they mill their own local wheat in a stone ground mill for the real flavor.

    Tacos in Mexico-same thing basically.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpuV3wyZBH8

  13. #13
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Any woman looking at a mound of flour, an egg, and a pot of boiling water could have come up with a dumpling, whatever her ethnicity. Whether she has talent and can make it digestible and not just a mound of wet flour sitting in your stomach like a stone is another matter.

    People made "flat" bread, made of just cereal flour of some sort, or corn flour, an oil, and quite a bit of water, from time immemorial and in every corner of the globe. Nobody needed to teach the technique to anybody else.



    In Podenzana they mill their own local wheat in a stone ground mill for the real flavor.

    Tacos in Mexico-same thing basically.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpuV3wyZBH8
    I agree but for whatever reason historians tend to credit Turks/East Asians with dumplings in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. All are supposed to derive from Turkic manti. I've only heard one source arguing that dumplings were also invented by Iranian peoples.

    Same thing with Middle Eastern flatbreads. For whatever reason Turks are credited with the ovens used to make flatbreads in the Middle East (tandoor/tanur/tandur/tonis). I think there is evidence though it is an Akkadian word or originated in Iran or Indus Valley civilization though.

  14. #14
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    18,072
    Points
    395,965
    Level
    100
    Points: 395,965, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.7%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    Quote Originally Posted by ratchet_fan View Post
    I agree but for whatever reason historians tend to credit Turks/East Asians with dumplings in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. All are supposed to derive from Turkic manti. I've only heard one source arguing that dumplings were also invented by Iranian peoples.

    Same thing with Middle Eastern flatbreads. For whatever reason Turks are credited with the ovens used to make flatbreads in the Middle East (tandoor/tanur/tandur/tonis). I think there is evidence though it is an Akkadian word or originated in Iran or Indus Valley civilization though.
    All you need to make a flatbread is a flat hot stone. Man has been doing it that way for millions of years. Our cesti or little baskets for panigacci work on the same principle: a terracotta disk is heated until flaming hot; you then pour batter in it and put another hot disk on top. Voila. Flatbread.

    The American Indians still do it on flat stones in the fire and turn the flatbread with their hands.

    These historians you're talking about must be useless outside of a library; obviously they can't cook and they never go camping. :)

  15. #15
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    All you need to make a flatbread is a flat hot stone. Man has been doing it that way for millions of years. Our cesti or little baskets for panigacci work on the same principle: a terracotta disk is heated until flaming hot; you then pour batter in it and put another hot disk on top. Voila. Flatbread.

    The American Indians still do it on flat stones in the fire and turn the flatbread with their hands.

    These historians you're talking about must be useless outside of a library; obviously they can't cook and they never go camping. :)
    I think these historians are just biased. For example sauerkraut being from China, burgers from Mongols, dulce de leche from Indonesia, clay ovens from Turks. They're just digging to find eastern origins for European and Middle Eastern food. There's still idiots who think Turks invented yogurt.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    As for why eggs are added to flour in the north when making pasta...

    The wheat which grows in northern Italy is "soft"; it's called 00 flour. It's low in protein, so with just water and salt it's difficult to make it bind together. There are some plain flour and water pastas, however, such as the trofie popular in Liguria.

    In the south they use a "harder" flour, called durum flour, which has a bit of protein, so all they use is flour and water to make the sheets of dough.

    Imo, any culture which grows a lot of wheat is going to combine it with water and salt and make different foods from it.

    I do think that German "egg noodles" and wienerschnitzel were adopted from Italians through the long German rule of Lombardia.
    Would that make fried chicken originally Italian then? That's what I originally thought but cool to have confirmation.

  17. #17
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    18,072
    Points
    395,965
    Level
    100
    Points: 395,965, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.7%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    Quote Originally Posted by ratchet_fan View Post
    Would that make fried chicken originally Italian then? That's what I originally thought but cool to have confirmation.
    I doubt it. I'm sure that as soon as chicken became commonly available it would occur to people to cook it in all the various ways they cooked other meats: boil, stew, bake, fry.

    Apicius' Parthian chicken: first fried then braised

    https://tavolamediterranea.com/2017/...-tracta-sauce/

  18. #18
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I doubt it. I'm sure that as soon as chicken became commonly available it would occur to people to cook it in all the various ways they cooked other meats: boil, stew, bake, fry.

    Apicius' Parthian chicken: first fried then braised

    https://tavolamediterranea.com/2017/...-tracta-sauce/
    Didn't think that fried chicken would go back that far.

    Isn't that a little different than what most people think of fried chicken today which is usually breaded and deep fried.

    Surprisingly wikipedia says deep frying also goes back to Greek and Roman times.

    The English expression deep-fried is attested from the early 20th century.[4]Frying food in olive oil is attested in Classical Greece from about the 5th century BCE.[5] The late Roman cookbook of Apicius (c. 400), appears to list the ancient Romans' first use of deep frying to prepare Pullum Frontonianum, a chicken dish.[6] The practice of deep frying spread to other parts of Europe and Arabia in the following centuries. Deep-fried foods such as funnel cakes arrived in northern Europe by the 13th century,[7] and deep-fried fish recipes have been found in cookbooks in Spain and Portugal at around the same time.[8] Falafel arrived in the Middle East from population migrations from Egypt as soon as the 14th century.[9][10][11]
    Evidence of potato frying can be found as early as the late 17th century in Europe.[8] French fries, invented in the late 18th century, became popular in the early 19th century western Europe.[12] In 1860 Joseph Malin combined deep fried fish with chips (french fries) to open the first fish and chip shop in London.[13]
    Modern deep frying in the United States began in the 19th century with the growing popularity of cast iron, particularly around the American South which led to the development of many modern deep-fried dishes.[13] Doughnuts were invented in the mid-19th century,[14] with foods such as onion rings,[15] deep-fried turkey,[16] and corn dogs[17] all being invented in the early 20th century. In recent years, the growth of fast food has expanded the reach of deep-fried foods,[18] especially French fries.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_frying

    I'm sure breading has an ancient history too. So its possible fried chicken has been around since then too. So much for the supposed Scottish or African American origins of fried chicken.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points31 days registered

    Join Date
    15-06-20
    Posts
    472
    Points
    1,805
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,805, Level: 11
    Level completed: 85%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 22.0%


    Country: United States




Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •