Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Pasta history: China

Expand Messages
  • jdm314@aol.com
    The topic of pasta and its origins comes up from time to time on this list, so I thought the following articles would be of interest to you:
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 13, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      The topic of pasta and its origins comes up from time to time on this list, so I thought the following articles would be of interest to you:



      http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/chinese-noodle-dinner-buried-for-2500-years/
      http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/4000-year-old-noodles-found-in-china/

      The more recent article, on the more recent pasta, bothers me a little in its comparison to Egypt:




      "Since the cakes were cooked in an oven-like hearth, the findings suggest that the Chinese may have been among the world’s first bakers. Prior research determined the ancient Egyptians were also baking bread at around the same time, but this latest discovery indicates that individuals in northern China were skillful bakers who likely learned baking and other more complex cooking techniques much earlier."



      This sort of implies, without saying, that this discovery might indicate that the Chinese were baking before the Egyptians. But "2,500 years ago" is hardly early in Egyptian history!


      Anyway, the article covers some other food items, admittedly far, far away from the Roman sphere, but in about the right time period for us. I particularly like the "moon cakes."


      JDM






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lucia Clark
      Interesting, Justin As for who baked what first, does it matter? Let me put my anthropological hat on: We have some sort of grain, we have water. There is only
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 13, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        Interesting, Justin

        As for who baked what first, does it matter? Let me put my anthropological
        hat on: We have some sort of grain, we have water. There is only so much we
        can do with it. We can let it ferment it, lending our evenings some pleasant
        and ritually useful aspect. We can bake it or pan grill it, and here we have
        some ready high energy food. Or, and here is the moment of genius, we can
        drop it in boiling water. The resulting mess is easy to eat, and it goes
        with absolutely everything else that is bubbling in the pot. This process
        has happened independently wherever grain was grown and marked the passage
        from hunting-gathering to crop growing. It changed the nature of life
        drastically. People settled in permanent villages near sources of water, and
        grain processing became an industry, opening the way to specialized jobs and
        bartering (I fix your spear if you give me a big jug of fermented barley).

        And now, for my boiled grain strips covered with some post-Colombian fruits
        simmered in the liquid produced from pressing small Mediterranean fruits..



        _____

        From: Apicius@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Apicius@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        jdm314@...
        Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 5:07 PM
        To: apicius@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Apicius] Pasta history: China





        The topic of pasta and its origins comes up from time to time on this list,
        so I thought the following articles would be of interest to you:

        http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/chinese-noodle-dinner-buried-fo
        r-2500-years/
        http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/4000-year-old-noodles-found-in-
        china/

        The more recent article, on the more recent pasta, bothers me a little in
        its comparison to Egypt:

        "Since the cakes were cooked in an oven-like hearth, the findings suggest
        that the Chinese may have been among the world's first bakers. Prior
        research determined the ancient Egyptians were also baking bread at around
        the same time, but this latest discovery indicates that individuals in
        northern China were skillful bakers who likely learned baking and other more
        complex cooking techniques much earlier."

        This sort of implies, without saying, that this discovery might indicate
        that the Chinese were baking before the Egyptians. But "2,500 years ago" is
        hardly early in Egyptian history!

        Anyway, the article covers some other food items, admittedly far, far away
        from the Roman sphere, but in about the right time period for us. I
        particularly like the "moon cakes."

        JDM

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • jdm314@aol.com
        Well, too be clear, I m not all that invested in who thought of it first, I just think it s ridiculous to make claims about that question based on evidence
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 13, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          Well, too be clear, I'm not all that invested in who thought of it first, I just think it's ridiculous to make claims about that question based on evidence from ca. 500 BCE.


          And now, for my boiled grain strips covered with some post-Colombian fruits
          simmered in the liquid produced from pressing small Mediterranean fruits..



          Mmmm!





          -----Original Message-----
          From: Lucia Clark <luciaclark@...>
          To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 4:48 pm
          Subject: RE: [Apicius] Pasta history: China





          Interesting, Justin

          As for who baked what first, does it matter? Let me put my anthropological
          hat on: We have some sort of grain, we have water. There is only so much we
          can do with it. We can let it ferment it, lending our evenings some pleasant
          and ritually useful aspect. We can bake it or pan grill it, and here we have
          some ready high energy food. Or, and here is the moment of genius, we can
          drop it in boiling water. The resulting mess is easy to eat, and it goes
          with absolutely everything else that is bubbling in the pot. This process
          has happened independently wherever grain was grown and marked the passage
          from hunting-gathering to crop growing. It changed the nature of life
          drastically. People settled in permanent villages near sources of water, and
          grain processing became an industry, opening the way to specialized jobs and
          bartering (I fix your spear if you give me a big jug of fermented barley).

          And now, for my boiled grain strips covered with some post-Colombian fruits
          simmered in the liquid produced from pressing small Mediterranean fruits..

          _____

          From: Apicius@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Apicius@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
          jdm314@...
          Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 5:07 PM
          To: apicius@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Apicius] Pasta history: China

          The topic of pasta and its origins comes up from time to time on this list,
          so I thought the following articles would be of interest to you:

          http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/chinese-noodle-dinner-buried-fo
          r-2500-years/
          http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/4000-year-old-noodles-found-in-
          china/

          The more recent article, on the more recent pasta, bothers me a little in
          its comparison to Egypt:

          "Since the cakes were cooked in an oven-like hearth, the findings suggest
          that the Chinese may have been among the world's first bakers. Prior
          research determined the ancient Egyptians were also baking bread at around
          the same time, but this latest discovery indicates that individuals in
          northern China were skillful bakers who likely learned baking and other more
          complex cooking techniques much earlier."

          This sort of implies, without saying, that this discovery might indicate
          that the Chinese were baking before the Egyptians. But "2,500 years ago" is
          hardly early in Egyptian history!

          Anyway, the article covers some other food items, admittedly far, far away
          from the Roman sphere, but in about the right time period for us. I
          particularly like the "moon cakes."

          JDM

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]









          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Lucia Clark
          I forgot the product of the curdling of the liquid used by mammals to feed their young. One collects the liquid by some time-consuming and uncomfortable
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 13, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            I forgot the product of the curdling of the liquid used by mammals to feed
            their young. One collects the liquid by some time-consuming and
            uncomfortable method, allows the liquid to curdle, shapes it in a totally
            unnatural shape and let it stay in a cool place for months. Finally one cuts
            a wedge out and passes it back and forth on a metal piece marked by jarred
            holes so that slivers of the wedge fall on the boiled grain strips.



            I did not come up with this, entirely. One of my first graduate reading
            assignments was "Nacirema" (hint: read it backwards). By Horace Miller. You
            can read it at http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~thompsoc/Body.html



            It is a fun way to look at any people with an anthropologist eye.

            _____

            From: Apicius@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Apicius@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
            jdm314@...
            Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 5:52 PM
            To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Apicius] Pasta history: China





            Well, too be clear, I'm not all that invested in who thought of it first, I
            just think it's ridiculous to make claims about that question based on
            evidence from ca. 500 BCE.

            And now, for my boiled grain strips covered with some post-Colombian fruits
            simmered in the liquid produced from pressing small Mediterranean fruits..

            Mmmm!

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Lucia Clark <luciaclark@...
            <mailto:luciaclark%40luciadentice.com> >
            To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Apicius%40yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 4:48 pm
            Subject: RE: [Apicius] Pasta history: China

            Interesting, Justin

            As for who baked what first, does it matter? Let me put my anthropological
            hat on: We have some sort of grain, we have water. There is only so much we
            can do with it. We can let it ferment it, lending our evenings some pleasant
            and ritually useful aspect. We can bake it or pan grill it, and here we have
            some ready high energy food. Or, and here is the moment of genius, we can
            drop it in boiling water. The resulting mess is easy to eat, and it goes
            with absolutely everything else that is bubbling in the pot. This process
            has happened independently wherever grain was grown and marked the passage
            from hunting-gathering to crop growing. It changed the nature of life
            drastically. People settled in permanent villages near sources of water, and
            grain processing became an industry, opening the way to specialized jobs and
            bartering (I fix your spear if you give me a big jug of fermented barley).

            And now, for my boiled grain strips covered with some post-Colombian fruits
            simmered in the liquid produced from pressing small Mediterranean fruits..

            _____

            From: Apicius@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Apicius%40yahoogroups.com>
            [mailto:Apicius@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Apicius%40yahoogroups.com> ] On
            Behalf Of
            jdm314@... <mailto:jdm314%40aol.com>
            Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 5:07 PM
            To: apicius@yahoogroups.com <mailto:apicius%40yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: [Apicius] Pasta history: China

            The topic of pasta and its origins comes up from time to time on this list,
            so I thought the following articles would be of interest to you:

            http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/chinese-noodle-dinner-buried-fo
            r-2500-years/
            http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/4000-year-old-noodles-found-in-
            china/

            The more recent article, on the more recent pasta, bothers me a little in
            its comparison to Egypt:

            "Since the cakes were cooked in an oven-like hearth, the findings suggest
            that the Chinese may have been among the world's first bakers. Prior
            research determined the ancient Egyptians were also baking bread at around
            the same time, but this latest discovery indicates that individuals in
            northern China were skillful bakers who likely learned baking and other more
            complex cooking techniques much earlier."

            This sort of implies, without saying, that this discovery might indicate
            that the Chinese were baking before the Egyptians. But "2,500 years ago" is
            hardly early in Egyptian history!

            Anyway, the article covers some other food items, admittedly far, far away
            from the Roman sphere, but in about the right time period for us. I
            particularly like the "moon cakes."

            JDM

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Phoenix
            Dear Justin, The idea of pasta coming from Asia is nothing new. Italy had pasta earlier than most people think (people i know, not the erudite folks on this
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 14, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear Justin,

              The idea of pasta coming from Asia is nothing new.
              Italy had pasta earlier than most people think
              (people i know, not the erudite folks on this site!)

              My beloved myth of Marco Polo bringing noodles home from China
              is debunked here:
              http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/marco-polo-pasta1.htm

              Be sure to go to the 'next page' to see the bibliography.

              The article musing about the Chinese possibly baking before the Egyptians is roaringly funny! what a laugh!

              The link provided to the Egyptian bakery excavation refutes the
              premise of the author of the noodle & cakes article!

              It tells of the peak period for that particular bakery's production as being from 1700 - 1500 BCE, the Middle Kingdom and 2nd Intermediate period. Right there it is established that this
              one bakery alone is 1000 years older than the Chinese production
              they are talking about! We know the Egyptians were baking looong before that!

              If you like the moon cakes, Chiu Quon in Chinatown has good ones.
              http://www.yelp.com/biz/chiu-quon-bakery-chicago

              My son and i prefer the Baby Moon Cakes because they do not have hard boiled egg in or on them, as regular 'big' Moon Cakes do. Baby Moon Cakes are our traditional lunar New Year treat served with tea and other Chinese pastries for the Lunar Year. (Feb. 3 this year is the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit.)

              As far as the Arabs bringing pasta to Europe -
              I think that anyone who has ever baked bread or cookies, etc. has played around with plain dough scraps. Baking them unleavened gives a sort of pasta or cracker, while leavened bread gives us bread-sticks, rolls, or crackers. While Arabs may have introduced certain recipes or types of grain product to trade partners (semolina?), it is as likely that every nation that used grain as food had some indigenous form of noodle.

              Let's not forget dumplings, (another form of ravioli, kreplach, kibbeh, or pierogi in many senses) - how long have dumplings been around? Probably almost as long as bread has been produced or mush was stirred up on a cold morning - leftover mush or dough could be formed into balls and flattened, or rolled into different thicknesses of dough, or made into balls with pockets hollowed in them, holding tasty morsels to be dropped into soup or stew, or deep-fried, or steamed, etc. If baked, they become a type of empañada, kibbeh, or samosa. Maybe if they are baked or fried they become little pies or tarts... Of course, if that leftover dough or mush were made into flattish ribbons, 'worms', tubes, etc. and dried, then we have pasta.

              on a different but related note:
              I recently purchased a nice food book -
              "A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East", Edited by Sami Zubaida & Richard Tapper,Foreword by Claudia Roden, Tauris Parke Paperbacks, London & New York; ©1994, 2000 Sami Zubaida & Richard Tapper. ISBN 1 86064 603 4

              The chapter "Rice in the Culinary Cultures of the Middle East"
              mentions on page 102 that, "Bazin and Bromberger record that the people of this region are proud of their rice diet, and contemptuous of neighbors who eat other grains, believing such a diet to be harmful. An angry husband would snap at his wifwe, "Go eat bread and burst!" and a parent would thraten an errant child with being sent to Araq (in the interior), where he would have to eat bread."

              Pasta can be cut into tiny rice shaped bits, such as orzo.
              My grandmother used it when they could not afford rice.

              Happy dinner to everyone,
              Demetria


              --- In Apicius@yahoogroups.com, jdm314@... wrote:
              >
              > The topic of pasta and its origins comes up from time to time on this list, so I thought the following articles would be of interest to you:
              >
              >
              >
              > http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/chinese-noodle-dinner-buried-for-2500-years/
              > http://ancientfoods.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/4000-year-old-noodles-found-in-china/
              >
              > The more recent article, on the more recent pasta, bothers me a little in its comparison to Egypt:
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > "Since the cakes were cooked in an oven-like hearth, the findings suggest that the Chinese may have been among the world’s first bakers. Prior research determined the ancient Egyptians were also baking bread at around the same time, but this latest discovery indicates that individuals in northern China were skillful bakers who likely learned baking and other more complex cooking techniques much earlier."
              >
              >
              >
              > This sort of implies, without saying, that this discovery might indicate that the Chinese were baking before the Egyptians. But "2,500 years ago" is hardly early in Egyptian history!
              >
              >
              > Anyway, the article covers some other food items, admittedly far, far away from the Roman sphere, but in about the right time period for us. I particularly like the "moon cakes."
              >
              >
              > JDM
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.