Hand-making process involves taking a lump of dough and repeatedly stretching it to produce many strands of thin, long noodle. Literally, lā, (拉) means to pull or stretch, while miàn (麵) means noodle. In the Lanzhou style, the dough is worked aggressively. It is pulled in straight, quick, tugs with no twisting or waving. Some pullers regularly slam the noodle against their prep boards to ensure even stretching and uniform thickness. Flour is sometimes used to dust the strands and prevent sticking. Our noodles are freshly pulled after you place an order.
In the second half, Worldwide Soba‘s Shuichi Kotani makes buckwheat soba noodles by hand, partially with his eyes closed so that he can see ‘in 10 dimensions’ instead of just one. Some history from Japan:
The long history of soba cultivation is said to trace as far back as the mid-fifth century. However,the spread of soba as it is known in the present day began in the middle of the Edo period. After soba appeared in Edo food stalls as a trendy new dish, it quickly gained popularity with the Edokko, or people who lived in Edo. Edo was known for soba; the Osaka and Kyoto area was known for udon. Most likely, soba was a good match for the spirited temperament of the Edokko. Also, during the Edo period, beriberi was common among the people living in the city due to their high consumption of high nutrition. Eating soba was encouraged after it was found that the disease could be prevented by consuming mineral-rich soba noodles. Tempura-soba, also a product of the period, was said to be invented when someone added some added some tempura from a next-door vendor to their kakesoba and found it to be quite delicious. The dish quickly spread throughout the city.
Related listening with Vermont Public Radio’s But Why? podcast for curious kids: How are noodles made?Next, watch this must-see noodle math video from The Ring of Truth: Noodles & the principle of halving.