Sayonara, spaghetti

Food Stuff

Noodle bars are opening in high streets throughout the country and they are proving so popular that half-hour long queues outside are commonplace.

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.

Nikki Spencer

Suggested Topics
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    RE/Humanities, Sittingbourne School

    Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We urgently seek an experienced ...

    SEN Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Southampton: Randstad Education are recruiting ...

    Maths Teacher, full time supply role, Medway Academy

    Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Our client school in Chatham, a ...

    Geography Teacher, Dover School, full time role

    Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is urgently s...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?