Pasta is one of the best-known Italian foods that has become popular across the globe. In households all over the world, pasta is now a staple part of the diet. People love the simplicity of pasta and enjoy its versatility as it can easily be served with a wide range of sauces and ingredients. Despite being so widely eaten, there are many surprising facts about pasta which you may not know.
1. Naples is the Best Place to Make Pasta
While people who have visited Naples can testify that eating pasta in Naples is fantastic, scientists also argue it is possibly the best place in the world to make pasta. This is because Campania, the region in which Naples is located, has the perfect climate for pasta making. The area is ideal for growing durum wheat, which dried varieties of pasta are made from, as the soil is rich and warm. This region makes pasta di Gragnano which is Italy’s first protected pasta.
2. Italians Ate Pasta with a Stick
Once upon a time, the Italians would eat pasta dishes with a stick-like implement called a ‘punteruolo’. They could use it to spear individual pieces of pasta or wind around longer pieces of pasta. Gradually, the punteruolo was replaced by a fork as the Italians decided a three-pronged instrument was more effective than a stick.
3. 13 Million Tonnes of Pasta Are Eaten Annually
As pasta is a popular food across the globe, it is little wonder that 13 million tonnes of the stuff was eaten in 2016. This meant that $23 billion was spent worldwide on buying pasta. Italy has the biggest market for pasta eaters followed by the United States and then Russia.
4. Venice is Home to Italy’s First Pasta Factory
Pasta is something that people would once make fresh in their homes. Southern Italy then became famous for its production of artisanal pasta. However, the first ever pasta-making factory in Italy was opened in Venice in northern Italy. It was opened by Paolo Adami in 1740.
5. Each Shape Has a Purpose
There are over 600 different varieties of pasta that come in all shapes and sizes. Although some people interchange the different types of pasta from one recipe to the next, they each originally had their own purpose. Many true Italians continue to stand by their specified uses and are horrified if people use them incorrectly. For example, you shouldn’t add a chunky vegetable sauce to spaghetti and smaller varieties of pasta are traditionally only used in soup.