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Shaved Noodles

Since ancient times, noodles have not only fed the Chinese but also brought them plenty of fun. In China, noodles can be eaten in so many ways: by cutting them with scissors, chopping them with a knife, tearing them with one’s hand, stretching them, and pulling them with chopsticks. Shaved Noodles is one of them. Making shaved noodles is as much a feast for the eyes as the mouth. A chef stands in front of a big pot of boiling water, a lump of noodle dough in one hand and a thin, arc-shaped knife in the other. He shaved off bits of dough into the boiling water. A top chef can shave 200 bits a minute. A tale about the origin of the shaved noodles is popular among locals. At the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty, the government confiscated all weapons even knives for cooking. Ten households were allowed to share just one knife. Then, one day, an old woman was preparing noodles for lunch and her husband went to borrow the knife from their neighbor, but found it being used. On his way home the man picked up a thin piece of iron. “How can we use it to cut noodles?” his wife complained. Her husband replied, “If we can’t cut it, let’s shave it.” Since then the tradition of making shaved noodles has been carried on.

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