The Year-Crossing Noodle

Photo by @cookieandkate

Photo by @cookieandkate

Well, it's soba a long story.

Soba is considered a jewel of Japanese cuisine, and is a part of daily life in Japan. Some say that the soba noodle originated in Japan, but others say that soba actually originated in China and was brought to Japan toward the end of the Jomon period. Still, if that's the case, that was a very very very long time ago. (Between 10,000 BC to 300 BC, to be exact and also totally broad).

What we do know more certainly is that the Shinto Bhuddhist Tokugawa shogunate ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. This is called the Edo period. And it is in this period that the tradition of eating soba took hold. In this period, most neighborhoods had multiple soba restaurants

For the soba connoisseur and small batch grain miller, December is the best time to enjoy this dish because the frost has kissed the buckwheat and made it sweeter. One source notes that today, December 13, is Susu-harai, which means "dusting off", and this is the day when people from all classes in Edo society cleaned their homes.

Soba was served at the end of the day as a treat, and it is still served today as a year-end tradition on New Year's Eve. This is actually called Toshikoshi soba, or year-crossing noodle, and is a clear connection to the symbolism of the noodle, which indicates to long life, resiliency, and strength.

Here is a cool Soba Making video we found: 

Anyone want to have a soba New Years party?

Liz PearComment