You might think you know all there is know about pasta, but there’s more to the tasty noodles than meets the eye. With years of experience in making pasta, talking about pasta, and eating pasta, we’ve come across a few bits of information that most people never hear about this time-honored food.
- Pasta does not originate from Italy. As an Italian-American company, we’re always shy about admitting this one, but it’s true! China was eating pasta long before Italy. In fact, historical records show that the Chinese were eating pasta as early as 5,000 B.C. According to myth, Marco Polo introduced Italy to pasta in the 1100s, but the Etruscans (a civilization pre-dating the Romans) were making and eating pasta by roughly 500 B.C. It wasn’t as easy it is now, either: the Etruscans would mash the grain with rocks before mixing it with water to create dough for the noodles.
- …But Italians do eat the most pasta. Though they can’t claim to have invented the dish, maybe they do deserve to call it an Italian food! Italians eat more pasta than anyone else around the world. The shocker here is who comes in second and third– Venezuela and Tunisia, respectively!
- People didn’t eat pasta with tomato sauces until almost two thousand years later! Can you imagine life without spaghetti and meatballs? In fact, people had been eating pasta without tomato sauce for four times as long as they have been eating it with the classic sauce. Tomatoes are not native to Europe, and were only introduced in 1519 when Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador, brought them back from Mexico. Before long, tomatoes and tomato sauces became staples of Italian cuisine.
- Pasta grows on trees in Switzerland. Just kidding — there’s no such thing as a pasta tree (unfortunately). However, on April 1st, 1957, the BBC aired a fake documentary that had all of England believing that pasta actually grew on trees in Switzerland. We’re not making this up: read about it here.
Do you know any unusual facts or stories about pasta? Tell us about it in the comments section!
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