The noodle is a type of food, made from any of a variety of dough
Dough is a paste made out of any cereals or leguminous crops by mixing flour with a small amount of water and/or other liquid. This process is a precursor to making a wide variety of foodstuffs, particularly breads and bread-based items , flatbreads, noodles, pastry, and similar items)...

s, formed into long thin ribbons, strips, curly-cues, waves, helices, pipes, tubes, strings, or other various shapes, sometimes folded. They are usually cooked in a mixture of boiling water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 and/or oil
Cooking oil
Cooking oil is purified fat of plant origin, which is usually liquid at room temperature ....

. Depending upon the type, noodles may be dried or refrigerated
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

 before cooking. The word derives from the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 Nudel (noodle).
In 2002, archaeologists found an earthenware bowl containing world's oldest known noodles, roughly 4000 years old, at the Lajia archaeological site
Lajia is an archaeological site located in Minhe County, Haidong Prefecture in Northwest China's Qinghai province. Lajia is associated with the Qijia culture and was discovered by archaeologists in 2000. The site covers an area of around 200,000 square meters...

 of the Qijia culture
Qijia culture
The Qijia culture was an early Bronze Age culture distributed around the upper Yellow River region of western Gansu and eastern Qinghai, China, it is regarded as one of the earliest bronze cultures. Johan Gunnar Andersson discovered the initial site at Qijiaping in 1923...

 along the Yellow River
Yellow River
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly known as the Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of . Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces of China and empties into...

 in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...