From National Geographic: Who invented noodles? The Asians or Italians? It appears as though the Asians have a leg up in this competition because archaeologists have unearth noodles that are 4,000 years old in China.
The beautifully preserved, long, thin yellow noodles were found inside an overturned sealed bowl at the Lajia archaeological site in northwestern China. The bowl was buried under ten feet (three meters) of sediment.
Not only did they find noodles, but they’re evidently different from the standard Italian fare.
The scientists determined the noodles were made from two kinds of millet, a grain indigenous to China and widely cultivated there 7,000 years ago. Modern North American and European noodles are usually made with wheat.
Plus, they were good cooks, too.
Even today, he said, deft skills are required to make long, thin noodles like those found at Lajia.
“This shows a fairly high level of food processing and culinary sophistication,” he said.