The Untold Truth of Chow Mein


While chow mein has changed over time and through travel, according to some historians, this dish’s roots go deep into Chinese history, dating back to the Han Dynasty. The Han Dynasty stretched from 206 B.C. to 220 AD The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which houses several beautiful relics from that period. This places the origins of chow mein in the same era as Rome and Egypt. The dish may in fact be older than Cleopatra.

These are well-seasoned noodles.

While the dish wasn’t called “chow mein” that early, taste and happiness Reportedly, noodles were important enough to be included in burial objects during the Han Dynasty. They didn’t appear exclusively in savory dishes, however. Some noodles turned into candy. The practice of eating chow mein with chopsticks is also a fairly recent development, and Flavor and Fortune reveals that old Chinese diners ate their noodles with a spoon.

A recipe for a dish very similar to chow mein also appeared in a Song Dynasty cookbook, which lasted from 960 to 1279 AD. The dish has obviously evolved as new cooking techniques became popular and the people who prepared it shared it with other cultures. Remember, American chow mein and Indian hakka chow mein share the basics, but the flavors have had over a hundred years to evolve into unique experiences.


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