Difference Between Lo Mein Noodles & Spaghetti

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Not all noodles are the same.

Spaghetti is a type of pasta of European origin. Lo mein noodles are a primary staple in Chinese cuisine. The two starches are similar in appearance because they are both long, thin noodles. However, they are made from different ingredients and are used differently in dishes. Although it is permissible to eat lo mein with a fork, chopsticks are not used to eat spaghetti dishes.


History of Lo Mein

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Wheat is believed to have first developed in the Middle East before it dissipated to other regions of the world. Lo mein noodles are a wheat pasta that comes from China. The Chinese people are believed to have developed pasta as early as 5000 B.C. The Chinese people were developing products similar to noodles made from whole grain wheat paste by 300 A.D. Lo mein noodles developed from these wheat product predecessors.

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History of Spaghetti

Different versions of pasta were present in Europe by the third and fourth centuries A.D. Arab merchants established trade routes between China, the Middle East, Africa and Europe in 4 A.D. Noodles are believed to have reached Europe through these long distance trade routes. A thread-like pasta called "triyah" was described by the Arab geographer Idrisi when he visited Sicily in 1138 A.D. The famous explorer Marco Polo brought the pasta he found at Chinese ruler Kublai Khan's court in 1295 back to Italy. These early forms of pasta developed into the spaghetti eaten in the West today.


Characteristics of Lo Mein

Lo mein noodles are made from wheat flour and eggs. They are also called Cantonese noodles. They come in various sizes and shapes, but they are never completely straight like dry spaghetti. Flat lo mein noodles are stir-fried with meats, vegetables and other ingredients. Round lo mein noodles are used in soups. Fried dishes and soups are the primary ways to serve lo mein. You can buy lo mein fresh, dry or frozen. Lo mein noodles are thicker than chow mein noodles, another type of Chinese egg noodle. The traditional way to eat lo mein is with chopsticks.


Characteristics of Spaghetti

Spaghetti is made from wheat flour. It is long and cylindrical. Straight, dried spaghetti is normally what is available for purchase in stores. It usually features a thick diameter. Spaghetti dishes are made by boiling the spaghetti in water with salt or olive oil. The spaghetti is then covered with combinations of herbs, sauce, meat, vegetables and oils. Spaghetti comes in thin varieties like angel hair or thick varieties like spaghettoni. The most widely used variety is moderately thick in diameter. Spaghetti dishes are meant to be eaten with forks.



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