Anybody who loves a good bowl of pasta e fagioli or linguine and clams may want to tip his hat to the ancient Chinese for coming up with pasta -- not the Italians, as you may have suspected.
The jury is still out on this one, but it looks like the Chinese beat either the Italians or the Arabs (it's unclear which) by around 2,000 years. In 2006, archaeologists excavating a 4,000 year-old settlement at Lajia in the Qinghai Province near the Tibetian border uncovered an overturned bowl of stringy noodles buried beneath ten feet of earth [source: Roach].
The newly discovered pasta may be the world's oldest. It's made from two types of millet grain, both of which have been cultivated in China for about 7,000 years. What's more, the Chinese still use these grains to make pasta to this day.