Spaghetti is currently one most popular dishes in the world. It is the first meal we all learned to make because…let’s face it, it can, literally, accompany anything! Although, we don’t really know a lot of things about this notorious dish.
Let’s learn some interesting facts about spaghetti!
1.Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning “thin string” or “twine.”
2.Contrary to popular belief, Marco Polo did not discover pasta.
3.The ancient Italians made pasta much like we do today.
4.Marco Polo did write about eating Chinese pasta at the court of Kubla Khan, he probably didn’t introduce pasta to Italy.
5.There’s evidence suggesting the Etruscans made pasta as early as 400 B.C. The evidence lies in a bas-relief carving in a cave about 30 miles north of Rome. The carving depicts instruments for making pasta – a rolling-out table, pastry wheel and flour bin.
6.Further proof that Marco Polo didn’t “discover” pasta is found in the will of Ponzio Baestone, a Genoan soldier who requested “bariscella peina de macarone” – a small basket of macaroni. His will is dated 1279, 16 years before Marco Polo returned from China.
7.The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.
8.They may have the same shape as spaghetti, but they aren’t the same thing. Noodles are the Eastern version of the Italian dish. They’ve been eaten in China for more than 4,000 years and are usually lighter, thinner, and aren’t made from durum wheat.
9.January 4th is National Spaghetti Day.
10.According to the International Pasta Organization, there are more more than 600 different shapes of pasta produced throughout the world.
11.Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, is credited with being the first person to introduce pasta to America, back in 1789.
12.One of the most important times in the history of the spaghetti was World War II. It was then that American soldiers came in close contact with European cuisine, bringing home tales about spaghetti and demanding its presence on the American market.
13.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.
14.The French immigrant to the U.S., Mr. Zerega, opened the country’s very first pasta maker’s shop in Brooklyn in 1848. Today is great-grandchildren continue to produce pasta.
15.Italians never use a spoon and a fork when eating spaghetti. This is an American habit. In Italy you simply twirl a fork against the dish.
16.Tomato sauce came later.People had been eating pasta for thousands of years before anyone ever thought to add tomato sauce. This is mainly because tomatoes are not native to Europe, and weren’t introduced to the continent until Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes from Mexico to Europe in 1519.
17.A dusting of parmesan cheese is the most popular spaghetti topping, and for a long time cheese and black pepper were the only condiments used with spaghetti.
18.Dry pasta used to be a luxury item in Italy, because of high labour costs, as the semolina had to be kneaded for a long time. Only after the industrial revolution in Naples, when a mechanical process allowed for large scale production of dry pasta, did it become affordable and popular among the common people.
19.As you’d expect, Italy is the country that eats the greatest amount of pasta worldwide. As you might not expect, however, the number 2 and number 3 countries that eat the most pasta are Venezuela and Tunisia.
20.Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates. It also contains protein. Carbohydrates help fuel your body by providing energy that is released slowly over time.
21.Vegetables aren’t only used to top spaghetti, but they are also used to color and flavor the actual pasta: tomato makes a red pasta, pumpkin turns it orange, and spinach makes it green.
22.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.
23.Not everyone can digest spaghetti because of its gluten content.
24.The largest ever bowl of spaghetti was created in 2010 when Californian restaurant Buca di Beppo managed to fill one swimming pool with around 6.250 kg of pasta.
25.Eating pasta makes you happy! It’s true — the carbohydrates in pasta increase the body’s production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that scientists believe trigger feelings of happiness and well-being.