Pasta is one of the most well-known foods in Italian cuisine. It has become a staple food not only for the Italians but in homes across the globe. While pasta may seem like a simple ingredient, it is actually far more interesting than you would expect and here are 20 facts that prove this.
- The first written reference to pasta was in 1154.
- Greek mythology is the source of the earliest reference to a pasta maker. The God Vulcan invented a device to turn dough into strings.
- There are over 600 different varieties of pasta.
- These varieties of pasta have over 1300 different names. What pasta is called depends on the country and the region.
- Fresh pasta is made of just four ingredients; flour, olive oil, egg, and salt.
- Worldwide, the three most popular types of pasta are macaroni, penne, and spaghetti.
- ‘Al dente’ is the traditional way of cooking pasta. This translates as ‘with bite’.
- If dried pasta is used, it will double in size when cooked. Fresh pasta swells only slightly.
- Pasta is actually a type of noodle.
- While in modern cooking the pasta is usually boiled, the Ancient Romans would fry their pasta.
- Pasta, especially the whole wheat variety is a healthy food. It is low in calories and fat but contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are needed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
- Traditionally, pasta was eaten by hand rather than with cutlery.
- Italians are the biggest producer of pasta in the world as they produce 1,432,990 tons annually.
- The Italians export 1.7 million tons of pasta each year.
- It is believed that pasta can benefit dogs and cats by supporting their growth development and giving them healthy and glossy coats. Therefore, pasta is an ingredient in many pet food products.
- There is a worldwide group of people who eat and discuss pasta. This is the National Pasta Association.
- In Italy, the average person eats 60 pounds of pasta a year.
- The United States dedicates a whole month to pasta as October is National Pasta Month. This coincides with National Italian Heritage Month.
- In 1884, the first American pasta factory opened in Brooklyn, New York, It was managed by a Frenchman who used a horse to power the machinery.
- A fun fact to finish….. if you cook pasta correctly and then throw it at a wall, it will stick!
This goes to show that pasta is far more interesting than you could ever have expected. Now, when you are cooking your favorite pasta dish, you will look at this ingredient in a whole new light.