Noodles denuded

June 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Local News & Event

Hundreds of times you’ve eaten a bowl of noodles, but how many times have you noticed what exactly is inside the bowl? Noodles, a staple of many countries including China, Italy, Japan and Thailand, are being uncovered and exhibited in “What’s in My Noodles?” at the Thailand Creative and Design Centre until July 5.

Five sections cover Chinese noodle-making, Italian pasta cooking, authentic Japanese udon, old Siam creative cookery and the 20th century cup-noodle lifestyle.

The exhibition recounts the beginnings of the noodle and the creativity along its evolution, as well as the techniques used to make the elongated strips of dry dough and analysis of prototype equipment and tools for noodle-making. It also offers a glimpse of unique ingredients and shapes of noodles from different origins, addressing the influence of geographical surroundings and local culture on the variety. Then, learn how characteristics are added to noodles through the use of spices and take a look into success stories in the “Return of Udon” case study and find out how cup noodles originated. If they are made simply to comfort the stomach, why so many varieties?

On any given day, more than a quarter of the world’s population eats some sort of noodle, pasta or cooked dough. The global retail market value for noodles in 2008 stood at $30.5 billion (1 trillion baht), with the pasta market coming in second at some $22.6 billion (769 million baht). And that’s not counting the volume of noodles and pasta made at home, off the statistical radar.

From humble Chinese hand-pulled noodles to fine Japanese barley soba and Italian fusilli swirls, the history of cooked dough is one born of necessity and refined by place, time and skill. How did the ancient need to preserve excess wheat or rice stocks after harvest end up in such a variety of contemporary tastes and textures? Not much could have happened without the invention of grain mills, helping farmers transform their wheat, millet or rice into flour.

Trace the origins and development of noodles at TCDC, on the 6th floor of the Emporium shopping complex, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:30am to 9pm. Free admission. Call 02-664-8448 or visit


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