Frequently asked questions about pasta
Provided by WorldPastaDay.org
Why is pasta so popular?
According to National Pasta Association, among the reasons cited for pasta's increased popularity are its nutritional value, taste, convenience and economical value. In a consumer survey, 84% of consumers considered pasta to be a healthy food and an important part of a well-balanced diet. In fact, 77% of the 1,003 Americans surveyed said they eat pasta at least once a week, while a third eat it three or more times a week.
What's more, consumers who describe themselves as health conscious are more likely than others to eat pasta three or more times a week. In addition, 44% of the health-conscious are eating more pasta today than they were five years ago.
Who "invented" pasta?
Popular legend has it that Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy following his exploration of the Far East in the late 13th century; however, we can trace pasta back as far as the fourth century B.C., where an Etruscan tomb showed a group of natives making what appears to be pasta. The Chinese were making a noodle-like food as early as 3000 B.C. And Greek mythology suggests that the Greek God Vulcan invented a device that made strings of dough (the first spaghetti).
Pasta made its way to the New World through the English, who discovered it while touring Italy. Colonists brought to America the English practice of cooking noodles at least one half hour, then smothering them with cream sauce and cheese. But it was Thomas Jefferson who is credited with bringing the first "macaroni" machine to America in 1789 when he returned home after serving as ambassador to France.
The first industrial pasta factory in America was built in Brooklyn in 1848 by, a Frenchman, who spread his spaghetti strands on the roof to dry in the sunshine.
What countries are the leading pasta producers?
According to the International Pasta Organization, Italy is the leading pasta manufacturing country, with the US in second place. Brazil takes the #3 spot, followed by Russia and Turkey
Is pasta fattening?
Pasta is not fattening. According to the US Dept of Agriculture, a 1/2 cup serving of cooked pasta (spaghetti) contains a mere 99 calories, less than half a gram of fat and less than 5 milligrams of sodium.
How do you cook pasta perfectly every time?
What are the most popular pasta shapes?
The most popular pasta shape is spaghetti, followed by thin spaghetti, elbows, rotelle, penne, and lasagna. For more pictures of pasta shapes, go to http://www.ilovepasta.org/shapes.html
How does pasta consumption vary by region?
Northeasterners are more likely than people in other parts of the country to eat pasta, followed closely by households in the mid-Atlantic region. Consumers on the West Coast are the least-frequent pasta consumers.
How much pasta do Americans eat?
About 85% of US households purchased pasta in 2008. The average American eats about 4-1/3 lb. of pasta per year.