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Two 1920 Hollywood Movie Stars Are Credited With Bringing Fettuccine Alfredo To The US

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National Fettuccine Alfredo Day is observed annually on February 7th.

Alfredo di Lelio, an Italian restaurateur, created  Fettuccine Alfredo in 1908.  After his wife had given birth to their first son that year, she did not have an appetite.  To help encourage her to eat, he created a dish of noodles, cheese and butter.   She liked the dish so much that she thought he should put it on the menu at his small restaurant in Rome.  Everyone around the world has been enjoying this dish ever since.  Today it is one of the most popular pasta dishes in America.

  • The restaurant became famous when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stopped in and fell in love with the dish while on their honeymoon in 1920. To express their gratitude, they gave him a golden fork and spoon along with a photo of them eating in his restaurant. He proudly displayed the photo on the wall. Pickford and Fairbanks served his dish to their friends and associates when they returned to Hollywood. Word about the new dish quickly spread.
  • Fettuccine  is a flat thick noodle made of flour and egg.(literally meaning “little ribbons” in Italian)
  • The original recipe for Fettuccine “Alfredo” is pasta made from fettucine noodles tossed with one part parmesan cheese and 3 parts butter.  Alfredo sauce is the emulsified  liquids that form the smooth and rich coating on the pasta.
  • Alfredo retired and sold his restaurant, Alfredo Sauce recipe and all, to Mr. Mario Mozzetti and the restaurant is still in business today.
  • In 1959 some local businessmen tracked down the famous Alfredo and offered to build him a new restaurant. Although he was retired he agreed to show up as a greeter. The new Alfredo ll location at 30 Piazza Augusto Imperatore is a few blocks from his original location.
  • Today Alfredo ll has locations near Rockefeller Center in New York, Orlando and Las Vegas.
  • To make it a single-dish meal, chicken and vegetables, such as peas, are often served on top.
  • In the jarred Alfredo sauce available in supermarkets, the sauce is thickened with starch and not with cheese.
  • We typically think of pasta as being invented in Italy, but the first recorded reports of people eating pasta came from China, as early as 5,000 B.C.
  • As you’d expect, Italy is the country that eats the greatest amount of pasta worldwide. As you might not expect, however, the #2 and #3 countries that eat the most pasta are Venezuela and Tunisia.

When SouthFloridaReporter.com wrote about Fettuccine Alfredo Day, we received the following email from Alfredo di Lelio’s grandson. Here’s what he wrote:

“With reference to your article I have the pleasure to tell you the history of my grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, who is the creator of “Fettuccine all’Alfredo” (“Fettuccine Alfredo”) in 1908 in the “trattoria” run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi). This “trattoria” of Piazza Rosa has become the “birthplace of fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
More specifically, as is well known to many people who love the “fettuccine all’Alfredo”, this famous dish in the world was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio concerned about the lack of appetite of his wife Ines, who was pregnant with my father Armando (born February 26, 1908).
Alfredo di Lelio opened his restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in Rome and in 1943, during the war, he sold the restaurant to others outside his family.
In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 “Il Vero Alfredo” (“Alfredo di Roma”), whose fame in the world has been strengthened by his nephew Alfredo and that now managed by me, with the famous “gold cutlery” (fork and spoon gold) donated in 1927 by two well-known American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (in gratitude for the hospitality).
See also the website of “Il Vero Alfredo” .
I must clarify that other restaurants “Alfredo” in Rome do not belong and are out of my brand “Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma”.
I inform you that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo –Alfredo di Roma” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
Best regards Ines Di Lelio”

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Foodimentary

Mobile-Cuisine

KidzSearch

Food Network

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