The noodles pictured above are still folded in half.

We’ve seen quite a few really long noodles on this website over the years with some of the longest measuring in the neighborhood of one meter (three feet). It’s a testament to human ingenuity to constantly strive to make a single strand of molded food longer and longer.

But now our long-noodle correspondent Masami has found one that trumps them all by a huge margin. A single strand of Izumi Te Encho Somen comes in at not one, not two, but roughly 3.6 meters (11.8 feet) of noodley goodness. It’s long enough to reach the ground if you dangle it out of a second-story window.

However, we don’t recommend reenacting Rapunzel with them because somen noodles are famously fine and delicate, making the fact that they could be crafted to such a length even more impressive. According to the package, it’s the result of a special hand-stretching method employed in the Izumi district of Anjo City, Aichi Prefecture.

Despite being cramped in their package, the noodles weren’t tangled or broken when Masami took them out. That must have had something to do with the way they were folded in half and bundled at the center rather than at the ends.

Here they are stretched out on the floor but still folded in half, along with a can of beer and a cat for reference.

They were surprisingly easy to cook too. Just prepare a lot of water to hold it all and boil for two or three minutes. Masami thought they might have a problem with sticking, but it was quite smooth.

Somen is usually served chilled as a refreshing meal on a hot summer day, so the next steps would involve straining the noodles and then applying ice. But these steps proved daunting for our reporter because the 3.6-meter noodles were also really heavy. She probably could have handled three-meter ones but that 0.6 proved too much to lift.

However, after getting a second wind and digging deep, Masami managed to finally chill her noodles. She then tried to fit them all into a large container of sauce but couldn’t quite manage it all. It was at this point she broke down and finally started cutting the noodles up with some scissors.

The package recommended doing that anyway for safety reasons. It would take an unprecedentedly powerful Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a whole 3.6-meter noodle.

They tasted great, though. The texture was glossy and tender with a subtle flavor and lightness that goes over perfectly in the lazy heat of a summer day. It’d make an interesting gift too, and four-packs of Izumi Te Encho Somen can be bought online for 3,000 yen (US$21) between May and September.

Their slogan is “the longest handmade somen in Japan” but it might even be the longest commercially available noodle period. We’ll continue to diligently search and see if this is true or not, eating more delicious food every step of the way!

Related: Izumi Te Encho Somen
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