October is National Pasta Month, and October 17 recognizes National Pasta Day.
Pasta lovers celebrate!
- The first written reference to pasta was in 1154.
- The first reports of pasta were in China, not in Italy. These reports go way back in history, with the first reports of individuals eating pasta comes as early as 5,000 BC.
- In Italy, names of specific pasta shapes or types vary with locale.
- Example: Cavatelli is known by 28 different names depending on the region and town.
- There are over 600 types of pasta, and some have over 1300 names.
- There are approximately 350 shapes of pasta
- 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.
- The three most popular pasta dishes are: macaroni and cheese, spaghetti bolognaise, and lasagne.
- Italy produces between 1,700,000 and 3,300,000 TONS of pasta per year.
- Spaghetto is the singular word for spaghetti
- Because pasta dough is so tough, workers would walk over large batches of dough to knead it and a single batch would take “a full day’s walking” to make.
- The average Italian eats 60 pounds of pasta per year. While Americans eat just 26 pounds a year.
- 24% of the global consumption of pasta is by Americans – the largest of any country in the world. Americans consume 6 billion pounds of pasta each year.
- The United States produces 4.4 billion pounds of pasta annually, making it the second largest pasta-producing nation.
- According to studies, spaghetti is the favorite pasta for Americans. Second place is penne and then it is rotini.
- Macaroni Hair Style. In the mid-eighteenth century, “macaroni” referred to an overblown hairstyle as well as to the dandy wearing it.
- Thomas Jefferson was the first person to bring pasta to America. He did this back in 1789. While many people surely know him as being the third president of the United States, we may forever know Thomas Jefferson as the reason we get to enjoy pasta here in the U.S.
- The first pasta factory in the U.S. was built in Brooklyn. Zerega was founded by a French immigrant (Antoine Zerega) in 1848 and is still making pasta today. [Philadelphia Macaroni bought Zerega’s in May 2020]
- Spaghetti Grows on Trees. April 1 in 1957, the BBC made everyone believe that spaghetti grows on trees. At the time, spaghetti was considered by many as an exotic delicacy. The spoof program explained how severe frost can impair the flavor of the spaghetti and how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length. This is believed to be one of the first times television was used to stage an April Fools Day hoax.