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About soba noodles

The translation of the Japanese word “soba ” (そば) is much closer and znakomie all of us than you can imagine. “Soba” translates to buckwheat – the crop of the native and understandable. It is not necessary, however, to think that the Japanese once again encroached on our national heritage: apparently, the buckwheat, which was first cultivated in India, came to Japan for several thousand years before the Byzantines were acquainted with this plant Rus.

The same word “soba” the Japanese call and the noodles are made from buckwheat flour: you’ve probably all heard, and possibly seen on sale, and now ask myself – what is so amazing to be in this very ordinary noodles.

Exactly, amazing. Because soba – unusual noodles.

Apparently, the tradition of eating buckwheat noodles originated in ancient times, but finally blossomed in medieval Edo (as it was then called Tokyo): there were concentrated the most affluent members of Japanese society who could afford to eat every day is not cheap in those days white rice. An unpleasant consequence of this privilege was the disease beriberi, caused by deficiency of vitamin B1. It’s not very common now, the disease in former times was a real problem in Southeast Asia where white rice was the basis of the diet of most people, but the Japanese found “antidote”: it turned out that regular consumption of buckwheat, which is rich in vitamin B1, helps to avoid this disease. As a result, in Edo, like mushrooms after the rain, began to appear in places where everyone could eat soba noodles, and to give a pleasant experience policiesthese amount of sake.

What’s unusual, begins to fidget in his chair, an impatient reader. Patience, my friend.

As you know, its elasticity of the dough due to the gluten – a special protein, which spiral in the process of kneading clinging to each other, and the moist crumbs are magically turned into solid, flexible and plastic mass. Most of the gluten in wheat, other cereals – a little smaller. But in buckwheat flour gluten is not at all, and in the preparation of, for example, pancakes, whether Russian or Breton, it added a little wheat flour, which gives dough the necessary adhesive strength.

Soba noodles, sometimes also cooked with wheat flour. For example, in a traditional Tokyo noodle ni-nachi soba is composed of four parts of buckwheat flour and one – wheat; cook it difficult, but possible. Any nation, she decided to invent buckwheat noodles, would add wheat flour or would come up with another way to make the dough more sticky, and that stopped. Any, but not the Japanese.

The Japanese are hardworking, on the one hand, are able to raise to the rank of art, absolutely anything, and with another – ready a lifetime to learn to play the flute without holes. Not surprisingly, the noodle also became the art. Japanese soba masters say you need three years to learn how to knead the dough, three months to learn how to roll, and three days to learn how to cut. Of dough prepared from buckwheat flour, it turns out the most exquisite and expensive variety of noodle – towari soba. Cooking – a clear demonstration of how one can overcome the forces of nature: not having gluten dough constantly strives to fall apart, but collected together by the will of the master, it dries quickly and becomes fragile and brittle, so coming out from under the knife noodles to a miracle.

Of course, soba – of those products, which involuntarily inspired respect. One manifestation of such respect is the minimalist dishes that include soba: boiled noodles with dried seaweed itself becomes an exquisite treat. Other traditional additives – leek, cucumber, hot peppers. mushrooms, thinly sliced Japanese omelet or whole egg, green onion, and the ubiquitous Dashi broth.

Dry soba noodles you can buy in supermarkets or shops with a Japanese slant, but judging by stories of eyewitnesses, dried soba and fresh – these are two different products. Do we have places where they make fresh soba noodles? I have not heard of such. This means that you have to do the noodles yourself.