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Linguine First Appeared In The 1700s And Was Served With Pesto, Green Beans, And Potatoes

Observed annually on September 15th, National Linguine Day is a favorite of young and old alike.

From the Liguria region of Italy, linguine means “little tongues” in Italian. Made from durum semolina flour, linguine is one of the world’s oldest kinds of pasta. Fettuccine and linguine developed around 400 years ago.  While both are thin, flat noodles, linguine is more narrow and elliptical causing it to be a more delicate pasta.  As a result, linguine is paired with thinner, lighter sauces.

  • It is often mis-spelled as “linguini.”
  • Linguine originated on the coast of Italy in Liguria, which is why linguine and seafood make a great pair.
  • This pasta shape seems to have first appeared in the 1700s. Giulio Giacchero, the author of a book on the economy of Genoa in the 1700s, writes about trenette (another name for linguini) served with pesto, green beans, and potatoes. He says it was the typical festive dish of Ligurian families of the time.
  • Italy is the leading consumer of pasta, with nearly 60 pounds per capita per year.
  • Americans eat an average of 19 pounds of pasta every year.
  • Linguine is a type of pasta characterized by its long, slender, flat strips.
  • The word linguine means little tongues.
  • Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning “thin string” or “twine.”
  • According to the International Pasta Organization, there are more than 600 different shapes of pasta produced throughout the world.
  • Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, is credited with being the first person to introduce pasta to America, back in 1789.
  • The first American pasta factory was opened in Brooklyn, New York, in 1848, by a Frenchman named Antoine Zerega. Mr. 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.
  • Italy is the country that eats the greatest amount of pasta worldwide. As you might not expect, however, Venezuela and Tunisia are the number 2 and number 3 countries that eat the most pasta.
  • If Italians ate their average yearly amount of pasta in spaghetti shape (long thin pasta), they would eat enough pasta to wind around the earth 15,000 times!
  • The first reference to pasta, in a book, was in 1154.
  • In Greek mythology, it is believed that the God Vulcan invented a device that made strings of dough. This was the earliest reference to a pasta maker.
  • Legend has it that noodles were first made by 13th-century German bakers who fashioned dough into symbolic shapes, such as swords, birds and stars, which were baked and served as bread. In the 13th century, the Pope set quality standards for pasta.
  • Italians never use a spoon and a fork when eating spaghetti. This is an American habit. In Italy you simply twirl a fork against the dish.
  • Eating pasta makes you happy! It’s true — the carbohydrates in pasta increase the body’s production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that scientists believe trigger feelings of happiness and well-being.
  • Pasta existed for thousands of years before anyone ever thought to put tomato sauce on it. One reason is that tomatoes were not grown in Europe until the Spanish explorer Cortez brought them back to Europe from Mexico in 1519.


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