Holy Ravioli! It’s a pasta-tively amazing day today – October 17th is National Pasta Day! Noodle lovers rejoice as we take the day to celebrate all things pasta. Let’s dive into the history of pasta and celebrate the versatile carb everyone has come to enjoy.
The History of Pasta
Pasta, the beloved staple of Italian cuisine, actually has a history that stretches back thousands of years – long before Italy even existed as a nation. The story of pasta begins in ancient times, and while the exact origins of pasta are still debated, evidence suggests that it was a staple in the diets of many ancient cultures.
Significant early contributions to pasta were made by the Chinese. Chinese noodles, made from wheat or rice, were well established by the 1st century. These early noodles made their way along trade routes and influenced pasta-making traditions in the Mediterranean. Arab traders and conquerors played a crucial role in the spread of pasta throughout the Mediterranean world. The brought with them technologies for making dried pasta, which allowed for easy storage and transportation.
By the 13th century, pasta had firmly established itself in Italian cuisine. Italian pasta production methods became more refined, resulting in a wide variety of pasta shapes and sizes. Pasta became a dietary staple for both the wealthy and working-class people of Italy. Over time, pasta’s popularity grew beyond Italy’s borders and it made its way to North America with Italian immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, pasta is a fan favorite worldwide.
Pasta Fun Facts
Here are some facts about pasta to help you see that life is full of pastabilities!
According to the International Pasta Organization, there are more than 600 different shapes of pasta produced around the world.
Eating pasta will actually make you happier! The carbohydrates in pasta increase the body’s production of serotonin – which triggers the feeling of happiness.
The largest bowl of pasta was created in Poland and weighed over 17,000 pounds! It took 19 hours to prepare.
The most commonly googled pasta dish in the United States is Fettuccine Alfredo. Gnocchi and spaghetti are the runners-up.
A singular spaghetti noodle is called a spaghetto.
Today, October 17th is National Pasta Day. World Pasta Day is celebrated on October 25th and the entire month of October is recognized as Pasta Appreciation Month.