Americans celebrate National Noodle Day each year on October 6. It’s another fun, food-oriented holiday with no school closures or time off work, but definitely with an emphasis on revisiting old favorites as well as trying new things.
National Noodle Day will be celebrated on Friday, October 6, 2023.
Unfortunately you’ll find a lot of websites with headlines that claim to know the origins of October 6 as a noodle-based holiday. But the actual origins of the holiday are fairly murky. That likely means October 6 was chosen as National Noodle Day by some kind of food marketing board…but does it really matter?
Scroll Down for a List of Noodle Recipes ⬇
The four thousand year old bowl of noodles discovered in China is a fascinating bit of food archeology, and you’ll read about noodles as a traditional food in both eastern and western traditions.
In Italian, the word “pasta” means paste, and noodles are often thought of with Italy firmly in mind. But Italian noodles aren’t the only varieties that you’ll find on the American dinner table, most countries have some kind of a tradition that involves a noodle or noodle-like option.
Nations like Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, China, Turkey, and Greece all have their own favorite combinations, textures, and colors.
Noodles can be made from a variety of grains including rice, wheat, barley, buckwheat, and are typically starchy and malleable when boiled. It’s easy to overcook some varieties, while other noodles are quite sturdy. Much depends on the country of origin, the dish the noodles are being served in, etc.
You can buy pre-cooked pasta, raw noodles that haven’t been boiled yet, and every variety in between. Some noodles are made of vegetables as well as flour (spinach noodles, anyone?) and some are made gluten-free to help those with dietary sensitivities. As a staple ingredient in so many international recipes, noodles are quite flexible!
PBS reports that Spanish travelers likely introduced noodles to America, but Thomas Jefferson was an additional factor in the rise of noodles in American cuisine–he apparently loved them so much after being introduced to macaroni in France that he brought two cases with him on his return, and sent out for more when that supply ran out.
Later, World War Two brought much Italian food culture to America including spaghetti. Some Hollywood films of the era showed American families struggling to understand how to traditionally eat Italian noodles, which in the 21st century seems horribly outdated…but once upon a time, Americans really didn’t know how to eat spaghetti!
National Noodle Day likely came much later, but as mentioned above, you won’t find an origin story about this observance. There is a tantalizing hint of what COULD be an origin story, as National Noodle MONTH is observed in March. That holiday was initiated by the National Pasta Association. Could they be the responsible party behind the scenes for October 6?
Buca di Beppo, Pizza Hut, Maggianos, Noodles And Company, Panda Express, and many other national chains all feature noodles on their menus. So have Applebee’s, Olive Garden, and too many others to comprehensively name here. But a few notables include:
- Boxer Ramen, Portland, Oregon
- Ivan Ramen, New York City, U.S.
- Jinya Ramen Bar
- Joy Lee
- Noodle Box
- Sam Woo Restaurant
- Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum
- Wong’s King, Oregon, U.S.
Try making your own noodles at home on October 6! It sounds a lot more daunting than it really is–the most basic recipe involves water, flour, salt, and egg. If you are more pressed for time, going out for noodles is a great idea, but it’s most fun on the 6th when you go somewhere to try a dish or noodle you’ve never had before. Trying new things on Noodle Day is one of the best ways to experience this fun informal holiday.
Different Types Of Noodles To Try On National Noodle Day
- Angel Hair Pasta
- Egg Noodles
- Harusame Noodles
- Hiyamugi Noodles
- Ho Fun Noodles
- Kluski Egg Noodles
- Ramen Noodles
- Rice Stick Noodles
- Soba Noodles
- Shirataki Noodles (aka konjac noodles)
- Somen Noodles
- Spaghetti Alla Chitarra
- Tokoroten Noodles
- Udon Noodles