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Encyclopedia > Noodles
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A cook making hand-pulled noodles.

A noodle is a thin strip of pasta, usually cut or extruded from some kind of dough. It is the basic unit in dishes like spaghetti, linguine, soba, and udon. The term often refers to moist, cooked pasta, since it has connotations of curviness and slipperiness, but also to dried noodles that must be reconstituted by boiling or soaking in water.


The word noodle derives from Latin nodus, for knot. It is sometimes used metaphorically to mean the brain. Noodling means playing semi-random, usually improvised, music (frequently in the middle of a rehearsal when the conductor is trying to say something important). This practice is also called doodling.


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