Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Eli. Eli Wonders, “how are noodles made” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Eli!

Have you ever eaten ramen? How about a steaming bowl of pho? Maybe you’d love a plate of pancit or pad thai. All of these dishes have the topic of today’s Wonder of the Day in common. That’s right—today, we’re learning all about noodles!

Humans have been eating noodles for a very long time. They were first made in China thousands of years ago. That’s where archaeologists recently found the world’s oldest bowl of noodles. It was 4,000 years old! 

Today, noodles are an essential part of popular dishes all over the world. Have you ever WONDERed just how they are made? It starts with two basic ingredients—flour and water. Most people also add salt when making noodles. This helps the dough bind together better.

Once the dough is mixed and kneaded, it’s left to rest. This allows it to become more pliable. After resting, it’s time to roll the dough out using a rolling pin. Then, simply cut it up to make noodles. Once cut, they’re ready to boil and eat!

Any ramen enthusiast will tell you there’s nothing like a bowl of fresh noodles. But another option is also very popular on grocery store shelves: instant noodles! These are both affordable and easy to make. They’re enjoyed by people all over the world.

Instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando of Japan in 1958. He made “Chikin Ramen,” which closely resembled the instant ramen still sold today. Ando also invented cup noodles in 1971.

Have you ever made instant noodles at home? If so, you know they’re very dry and brittle until you put them in hot water. Before packaging, manufacturers dehydrate the noodles by frying them. This removes the moisture so the noodles can be stored for long periods of time.

All this talk about noodles may have you thinking—what about spaghetti? Isn’t it a noodle? Actually, spaghetti is a type of pasta, just like ravioli, tortellini, and fettuccine. Pasta may look a lot like noodles, but it’s slightly different.

Pasta is made with a coarser type of flour. It’s also usually paired with sauce after cooking. Additionally, it is often shaped through extrusion, while noodles are rolled out and cut. Of course, pasta is also associated with Italy. It may have originated there separately from Asian noodles. Or it may have been influenced by the Chinese invention.

Do you have a favorite noodle dish? Have you ever helped a family member make one at home? Preparing a meal together can be a fun activity. Maybe you can make your own noodle creation to share with your family! 

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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