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On the Noodle Road

From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta

On the Noodle Road by Jen Lin-Liu
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A food writer travels the Silk Road, immersing herself in a moveable feast of foods and cultures and discovering some surprising truths about commitment, independence, and love.

As a newlywed traveling in Italy, Jen Lin-Liu was struck by culinary echoes of the delicacies she ate and cooked back in China, where she’d lived for more than a decade. Who really invented the noodle? she wondered, like many before her. But also: How had food and culture moved along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route linking Asia to Europe—and what could still be felt of those long-ago migrations? With her new husband’s blessing, she set out to discover the connections, both historical and personal, eating a path through western China and on into Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, and across the Mediterranean.

The journey takes Lin-Liu into the private kitchens where the headscarves come off and women not only knead and simmer but also confess and confide. The thin rounds of dough stuffed with meat that are dumplings in Beijing evolve into manti in Turkey—their tiny size the measure of a bride’s worth—and end as tortellini in Italy. And as she stirs and samples, listening to the women talk about their lives and longings, Lin-Liu gains a new appreciation of her own marriage, learning to savor the sweetness of love freely chosen.
Penguin Publishing Group; July 2013
320 pages; ISBN 9781101616192
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: On the Noodle Road
Author: Jen Lin-Liu
  • News
Follow the pasta trail around the globe in 'On the Noodle Road' - Los Angeles Times
Fri, 19 Jul 2013 09:03:53 -0700
Los Angeles TimesFollow the pasta trail around the globe in 'On the Noodle Road'Los Angeles TimesYou may have heard ...
One Woman's Global Quest For The Origins Of The Noodle - WBUR
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 05:50:51 -0800
WBUROne Woman's Global Quest For The Origins Of The NoodleWBURAuthor Jen Lin-Liu shares some of the manta dumplings she ...
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Tue, 09 Jul 2013 13:42:53 -0700
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