The Truth About Pasta:
Did you know? Palermo, in Sicily, is the historical home of dried pasta production, as documented by Al Idrisi, the great Arabic traveller and writer, in 1154. In "Diversion for the Man Longing to Travel to Far-Off Places" he mentioned
a flourishing dried pasta-making factory in Trabia, just outside Sicily's capital.
The world's pasta consumption (per person per year)
- United Kingdom. In a year the whole of the UK consumes 155.546.902.5 kg! To cook all that, you would need 622 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water!
- Italy. As the world's largest consumer of pasta, each year Italy eats a staggering 1.572.571.546kg!
- Who are the other pasta fans?: 1) Venezuela - 13.0 kg per person per year; 2) Tunisia - 11.9 kg per person per year; 3) Greece - 10.4 kg per person per year; 4) Switzerland - 9.0 kg per person per year; 5) United States - 8.8 kg per
person per year; 6) Chile - 8.4 kg per person per year; 7) Peru - 8.3 kg per person per year; 8) France - 8.0 kg per person per year.
- The pasta timeline. many people believe that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from China, but this is far from true!: 1) Greeks and Romans had pasta-like foods, but these were baked, not boiled; 2) The Arab invasion of the 8th
century brought a dried noodle-like product to Sicily. They soon get about mass producing it at Trabia, just east of Palermo; 2) The Corporation of Pasta-Makers was founded in Genoa in 1574; 3) According to legend, the Sicilian dish
Pasta con le Sarde was invented when the Arabic General, Eufemio, had nothing but pasta, sardines, wild fennel, pine kernels and sultanas to feed his men during the Arab invasion of Sicily; 4) The result became a firm favourite!; 5) It
wasn't until the 18000's that pasta and tomatoes were finally combined - and what a combination!; 6) Pasta's popularity outside Italy really grew at the beginning of the 20th century with large-scale Italian immigration to the New
- Did you know? It has been found that consumption of pasta will increase the level of a chemical called serotonin in the body. Serotonin is used by the brain to trigger positive feelings, so pasta makes you feel good!
- Pasta trivia!: 1) Did you know? Thomas Jefferson, founding father and 3rd President of the USA, was the first person to import a pasta-making press to America, on his return from Paris where he was the American Ambassador;
2) Did you know? The word "pasta" comes from the Italian for paste, meaning a combination of flour and water; 3) There are more than 600 pasta shapes worldwide (many more!) but their names aren't so appetising when translated
into English (Pasta names: Farfalle = translation "Butterflies"; Spaghetti = translation "Little strings").
- The best bit...eating: 1) Lighter, simple sauces go well with simple shaped ribbon noodles, such as fettuccine, linguine and tagliatelle. Full-bodied sauces complement a more complex shape of noodle, such as fusilli, rigatoni, and
orecchiette; 2) The Food Pyramid recommends we eat 6 to 11 servings of complex carbohydrates daily. A typical serving of cooked spaghetti can provide 2 or 3 of your recommended servings of complex carbohydrates!
- There are two types of pasta: 1) Pasta Asciutta or Secca. Commonly made with Durum wheat flour. Made for mass supply worldwide; 2) Pasta Fresca. Made with Durum wheat flour and water in Southern Italy. Made with Egg and
flour in Northern Italy.
- Did you know? On April 1st in 1957, the BBC made everyone believe that spaghetti grows on trees, the first TV April Fool's Day hoax. The spoof explained how severe frost can impair the flavour of the spaghetti and how each
strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length!
Brought to you by Think Sicily.