Thursday 13 November 1997
The Seventies' Pot Noodle and its current rival, the Supernoodle, are worlds away from the Japanese noodles that are hot property at the moment. Succulent Japanese noodles which date back to the 17th century are considered to be the Rolls-Royce of the noodle world.
Demand is so high that at the refectory-style restaurant Wagamama, in London's Soho, they are getting though an impressive one thousand kilos of noodles a week.
Not surprisingly the supermarkets are catching on. Sainsbury's has recently launched freshly prepared Japanese noodle meals and Waitrose has just introduced a range of fresh noodles imported by the Japanese food specialists Tazaki Foods.
"We have had spaghetti and every kind of pasta and now people are ready for something different," says Waitrose managing director, Gerald Tyron. "Noodles are good, healthy food. They're quick, cheap and fun to eat as well," he enthuses.
KNOW YOUR NOODLES
Noodles were an invention of Chinese peasants, but once introduced into Japan they rapidly became part of the cuisine.
There are many varieties of noodle but most typical are the fat white noodles made with wheat flour called udon and the thinner brownish ones made with buckwheat called soba. Ramen are thread-like noodles bound with egg; ramen literally means "Chinese-style noodle". Somen are the very slender, vermicelli like, noodles that are made into nests and are traditionally eaten cold in Japan.
Japanese monks who travelled to China were the first to make noodles. At one temple, soba noodles were served to all visitors who came to pay their respects to departed relatives. The practice had to be stopped, however, after crowds of bogus mourners turned up to claim their free soba.
In Japan in the 1800s, it became chic for the aristocracy to eat at humble noodle stalls, but in silence. This only encouraged commoners to slurp their noodles even more noisily, still essential etiquette for noodle eating today.
Life & Style blogs
American Apparel makes 15-year-old YouTube star Brendan Jordan the face of its new campaign
Gill Pharaoh: Healthy nurse who killed herself in a Swiss clinic accused of doing it for 'publicity'
Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-driver is missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
£35 - 38k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager ...
£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A qualified electrician require...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...