October 25th World Pasta Day
Though many attribute pasta to Italy, it was brought back from China to Europe in the 13th Century by Marco Polo.
Pasta had been a staple of the Chinese diet for probably centuries before Marco Polo visited, it had been in use for so long no one really remembered when the Chinese first started using in their dishes. Italy certainly gives China a run for the money these days though and we are all the better for it!
How to celebrate – Have some Italian pasta today. Have some Chinese pasta today. Read about Marco Polo’s exploration of Asia.
It’s just water and flour mixed together but oh what you can do with it. Basically, the only difference from one pasta to the next is how you cut it and what flavors you add to it. Pasta, in Italian, means dough.
It is believed Marco Polo brought back the idea of pasta to Italy from his travels to China. No one seems to know how long it had been in use in China but evidentially it had been use for quite some time (Some think as far back as 5,000 BC.) Apparently, it changed life in Italy from there on out! His travels would have been in the mi 1200’s but there is also evidence that pasta was in use in the Arabic nations in the 1200’s as well.
Thomas Jefferson, serving the US after the revolution, spent a great deal of time in Europe and brought back pasta to the US from his time spent in Naples. He also determined that tomatoes were not poisonous as originally thought and probably started the tomato sauce craze.
Pasta makes up a tremendous amount of our diet in the US, and across the world. Mac & Cheese, Spaghetti, ravioli, it’s actually hard to think of a meal where we don’t use some sort of pasta whether as a main dish or a side dish.
In fact Americans eat over 20 pounds of pasta a year. That’s a lot of dough!
How to celebrate – Use pasta in your meal tonight! See if you can make the world’s longest strand of spaghetti! Invent a new shape of pasta to entertain your friends and family.
Spaghetti is not actually a food, it is a shape. In fact it is 1 of over 600 shapes pasta is cut, formed and molded into. And another shocker, Marco Polo did not bring spaghetti back from China to Italy. The fact is, it had been in use in Europe long before Marco Polo made his trip to China.
The Chinese are the first known to use spaghetti some 5,000 BC. The Arab communities used a dried spaghetti type pasta in their meals around 1200. And here’s an appetizing thought, spaghetti in Italian roughly means string or twine.
Thomas Jefferson brought spaghetti to America after spending time in Italy before he became President. Later, the flood of Italians coming to a new life in America spread it’s popularity across the United States.
You can top spaghetti with just about any topping you choose. The traditional tomato sauce is just one style. Butter, garlic, cheese, chicken or beef broth… you can even put ice cream on it! It’s a great meal by itself or as a side dish with practically anything. It’s hard to find anybody who doesn’t like spaghetti.
Some a little too much.
How to celebrate – Have some spaghetti for lunch or dinner today, maybe even breakfast. Create your own spaghetti dish involving something no one else has ever thought of. See if you can dry out wet spaghetti back to it’s original form.