Kitchen Geekery :: Food :: Fifteen facts about pasta
- The word ‘Pasta’ came from the word paste which means a combination of wheat and flour.
- The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.
- Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States; he fell in love with a dish he sampled in Naples.
- 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, but tender.
- There are over 600 varieties of Pasta in Italy; each designed for a specific kind of sauce.
- Sophia Loren once said “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti”.
- A 230g serving of spaghetti is 345 calories, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil adds another 200 calories to it.
- The Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes back to Europe from Mexico in 1519. Almost 200 years passed before spaghetti with tomato sauce made its way into Italian kitchens.
- In Italian vermicelli and linguine translates to “Little worms” and “little tongues” respectively.
- Pasta contains six of major eight amino acids required by our body to make a healthy diet.
- Colored pasta: (Pastas are coloured using tomatoes and red beet for red; spinach and basil for green; brown mushrooms for brown; saffron for yellow; squid ink for black.
- Flat pastas are for cream sauces, whereas tomato based sauces cling better to round pastas.
- The first documented recipe for pasta is from around the year 1000, in the book “De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e macaroni siciliani”, (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli) written by Martino Corno, chef to the powerful Patriarch of Aquileia.
- It is believed that the Sicilian word “maccaruni” which translates as “made into a dough by force” is the origin of the word macaroni. In the ancient methods of making pasta, force meant kneading the dough with the feet – a process which could take up to a day.
- In 1740, the city of Venice issued Paolo Adami a license to open the first pasta factory. The machinery was simple enough. It consisted of an iron press, powered by several young boys.
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