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Monday, 2 January 2017


In the early 490s BC there was a tremendous famine in Rome and the Roman Senate decided to introduce the first official price lists, purchasing a large quantity of wheat from Etruria to distribute for free to the poor or sold to those whom can afford it. The Romans both toasted the grains and boiled wheat in water. These "pastilli"(pasta) could then be eaten as such, or used as flour, once they are boiled.

The name pasta came from the Latin word for dough.

The first documented recipe for pasta is in the Italian book De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e macaroni siciliani, (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli) written by Martino Corno, chef to the powerful Patriarch of Aquileia in 1005.

A cook book written in 1390 contains what is believed to be the first pasta recipe in England. The recipe for 'loseyns' - layers of cheese between pasta sheets is said to have been brought to Europe by Arabs and then to England by the Normans after 1066.

By 1425, Italian shops were producing pasta commercially through a process involving treading barefoot on the dough.

Making pasta; illustration from the 15th century edition of Tacuinum Sanitatis,

Tomatoes did not come into use while cooking pasta until the late 1600s. Before this tomatoes were considered poisonous.

In 1827 in the small village of Sansepolcro, Tuscany, Italy, Giulia Buitoni was turning her talent for making exceptional home-made pasta into a business. She mortgaged two tracts of land and pawned her only heirloom, a pearl necklace so that she could buy a few basic machines, adapted to make pasta. Her Buitoni pasta, made from high quality durum wheat semolina, quickly received much praise.

America's first large pasta factory was built in Brooklyn, New York in 1848, by a Frenchman named Antoine Zerega. Zerega managed the entire operation with just one horse in his basement to power the machinery. To dry his spaghetti, he placed strands of the pasta on the roof to dry in the sunshine.

Mrs Isabella Beeton the Victorian author of the ground breaking book Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management recommended boiling pasta for 100 minutes.


There are over 600 different kinds of pasta available throughout the world. They are mostly available in two forms: fresh (like ravioli and canelloni) or dried (like spaghetti and penne).

The top quality pasta is made from the durum wheat which is found in North Dakota region of the US.

Spaghetti means strings, fermicelli: small worms, linguine: little tongues and ravioli: turnip.

The rarest pasta dish on Earth, su filindeu (“God’s wool”), is made by only three women living on the Italian island of Sardinia.

Tomato is used to make it red, spinach to make pasta green and squid ink is used to make pasta grey in color.


To cook one billion pounds of pasta we will need 2,021,452,000 gallons of water which is enough to fill 75,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Pasta that is sealed in the box can stay fresh for up to 10 years - Open pasta is only good for a few days.

Eating pasta that has been reheated is healthier than eating it fresh. It turns into resistant starch, keeping your blood sugar levels more stable..

When pasta is cooked al dente (which literally means "to the tooth" or "to the bite) it takes longer to digest, keeping you fuller longer.


The average pasta serving size in 480% larger than what's recommended.

Italians eat most pasta. An average person in Italy eats about 26 kilos per person per year. Venezuela comes second, way behind on 13.2 kilos.

In 2014, 1.3 million pounds of pasta were sold in American grocery stores. If you lined up 1.3 million pounds of 16-oz. spaghetti packages, it could circle the Earth's equator almost nine times.

Sources Daily Express, Food For Thought by Ed Pearce,,

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