Pasta in History
- The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early
as 5,000 B.C. Contrary to popular belief, Marco Polo did not
discover pasta. Although Marco Polo wrote about eating Chinese
pasta, he probably didn't introduce pasta to Italy. In fact,
there's evidence suggesting the Etruscans made pasta as early as
- In the 13th century, the Pope set quality standards for
- Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the
United States. He fell in love with a certain dish he sampled in
Naples, then promptly ordered crates of "macaroni," along with a
pasta-making machine, sent to the States.
- It was not until the 1700's until tomato sauce was included
with spaghetti in Italian kitchens.
- 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 sun.
- Christopher Columbus, one of Italy's most famous pastaphiles,
was born in October, National Pasta Month.
Cooking and Eating Pasta
- There are more than 600 pasta shapes produced worldwide. That's
enough to eat a different shape of pasta every day for about a year
and a half!
- One billion pounds of pasta is about 212,595 miles of 16-ounce
packages of spaghetti stacked end-to-end - enough to circle the
earth's equator nearly nine times.
- The average person in Italy eats more than 51 pounds of pasta
every year. The average person in North America eats about 15-1/2
pounds of pasta per year.
- The most popular pasta shapes in the U.S. are Spaghetti, thin
spaghetti, Elbows, Rotelle, Penne, Lasagna
- Cooked al dente (al-DEN-tay) literally means "to the tooth,"
which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. The
pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth,
- Most pasta is made using wheat products mixed with water. Other
types of pasta are made using ingredients such as rice, barley,
corn, and beans.
- Egg noodles contain egg; almost all other dry pasta shapes do
not. By federal law, a noodle must contain 5.5 percent egg solids
to be called a noodle. So without egg, a noodle really isn't a
- To cook one billion pounds of pasta, you would need
2,021,452,000 gallons of water - enough to fill nearly 75,000
Olympic-size swimming pools.
Life's a Fiesta, visit your local Fiesta and pick up your
favorite brands. For pasta recipes from around the world, visit
the Recipe Corner for such delicious
with Fresh Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts
Prosciutto di Parma® and Chickory
Baked with Three Cheeses and Portobello Mushrooms
For more information, visit www.ilovepasta.org/.