Pasta is staple dish in Italian cuisine with a history of being prepared for well over 1,000 years. It is believed that pasta was invented in Sicily around 1100. How many of these delicious and fun pasta facts did you know?
- While pasta is quite delicious, the true meaning of its name leaves a lot to be desired: The Latin word ‘pasta’ means ‘pastry cake’, which is pretty tasty, but is based on a Greek term meaning ‘barley porridge’ – which is not so appetising!
- What was the first ever pasta invented? Garfield would be delighted to learn it might be lasagna: Writings that have survived from the second century illustrate a dish that involves sheets of dough reminiscent of lasagna.
- There is something of a legend that pasta was brought to Italy by explorer Marco Polo after he discovered it in China: In reality, this is more likely a falsehood that stems from a Canadian spaghetti company’s advertisements in the 1920s.
- The Greeks hold that pasta was a divine invention from one of their gods, Hephaestus: According to legend, this god invented a device that created strings of dough – effectively an ancient pasta maker.
- While in modern times the combination of pasta with tomato sauce is ubiquitous, it wasn’t quite so common prior to the 1800s: Before that, pasta was typically enjoyed dry and eaten by hand. Once the sauce was introduced, forks were required.
Fun Pasta Facts:
- It will come as no surprise to most that Italians hold the record for eating the most pasta per year: On average, each Italian will consume 27kg (around 60 pounds) of pasta each year. For comparison, a typical American consumes 9kg (20 pounds).
- It’s also not very surprising that Italy is the world’s number one pasta producer: The nation made an amazing 3.4 million tonnes of the stuff in 2013, with the United States in distant second with a production of just 2 million tonnes.
- What is the best way to cook your pasta? There’s a lot of argument about this, but chefs agree on this recipe: Ensure you have a pot full of boiling water, and salt it heavily. Add the pasta, and for god’s sake, don’t put any oil into it!
Pasta World Records:
- The world record for the largest bowl of pasta ever made was set in Poland in 2015: A team of three restaurants worked together to cook up the massive 7,900 kg (17,417 lb) pasta dish. Luckily there were 10,000 people on hand to help eat it!
- There’s also an amazing world record for the fastest pasta eater, and it is insane: A Canadian man named Peter Czerwinski – also known as ‘Furious Pete’ – managed to polish off a bowl full of pasta in just 41 seconds at a competition in Germany in 2013.