“Many Eurasian countries have a long and rich culinary tradition of pasta. There is historical evidence from Germany to Iran, from Greece to Russia, from Turkey to Poland, not to mention the countries of Central and East Asia or, for that matter, the Western Mediterranean and the Middle East. But the true homelands of pasta have been Italy and China, which evolved two different and complimentary culinary traditions that have spread throughout their respective worlds, gaining admiration and influence over the centuries.” (Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food, by Silvano Serventi & Francoise Sabban)
The noodle has a rich tradition and it has traveled longer and further than Marco Polo himself. However, contrary to popular myth, Marco Polo was not the person who first brought the noodle from China to Italy. There is an array of conflicting theories regarding the invention of the noodle, crediting the Chinese, the Italians, and the Arabs.
So how does China and Italy’s connection to the noodle extend beyond a profound love for the noodle and a rich history of culinary dishes historically and presently? In reality, the noodle has affected China and Italy in different yet intersecting ways, and is closely linked to the two cultures and traditions. Our research will go deep into the noodle’s cultural significance to see how it has integrated itself into the myth, symbolism, storytelling, cycle of life, social context, class structure, history, art, historical changes, and cultural DNA of China and Italy.