Is it true that the Chinese knew what pasta was before the Italians did??
We are afraid to tell you that…yes they did. It still burns. But in all fairness, Italians are to be credited for having made this humble staple ingredient great – let alone our main source of sustenace.
Let’s find out more about our favourite food:
- There are 600 different shapes of pasta.
- Pasta and Noodles are NOT the same thing. Nor are Spaghetti and Noodles.
- If you mesure the amout of pasta Italians eat on an yearly average, (counting in spaghetti form), it would cover the circumference of the earth 15,000 times!
- The first ever documented recipe for pasta appeared in the book “De Arte Coquinaria per Vermicelli e Maccaroni Siciliani” (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli), written by Martino Corno, chef to the powerful Patriarch of Aquileia in the year 1000.
- The World Record for the largest bowl of spaghetti belongs to the Californian restaurant Buca di Beppo. 6500 kg of pasta.
- The famous merchant traveller and explorer Marco Polo did not discover pasta. The Etruscans, an ancient Italian population, made pasta long before he claimed to have brought it back from China, as early as 400 B.C.
- The Spanish explorer Cortez is the one to be thanked for the introduction of tomatoes in Europe. He brought them from Mexico in 1519.
- It took almost 200 years before someone thought of combining spaghetti and tomato sauce in the same dish!
- 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.
- On April Fools’ Day 1957 by the BBC broadcasted the best hoax about pasta ever. See it below.
- Perfectly cooked pasta should be firm, but tender, in other words “al dente” (al-DEN-tay), which means “to the tooth” in Italian. Try the “wall test” – if you throw pasta to a wall and it sticks …well you’ve cooked it for too long! Start over!
- For each type of pasta there is a type of sauce. Long pasta goes better with creamy sauces, while short pasta compliments chunkier sauces.