world pasta day
Picture this….a warm steaming pile of spaghetti in a rich red sauce, littered with seasoned sausage, black olives, and mushrooms served with crusty garlic bread on the side.
Or, perhaps the idea of a rich Chicken Fettuccine in a creamy garlic white sauce is more likely to be what blows your mind.
Ask anyone what they can cook and they always say spaghetti. It is what you reach for when there is nothing else left in the pantry. No wonder, pasta has topped a global survey of the world’s favourite foods. The dish, so closely associated with Italy, has become a staple of so many tables around the globe since it is cheap, versatile and convenient. In our households too, spaghetti is a regular feature of mealtimes. One can create lots of different dishes with it. It tastes good and it’s filling. It also has a long shelf life, so you can keep it in the pantry until you need to put a meal together.
One of the most amazing things about pasta is that there are over 350 kinds! Some of the most well-known types of pasta include: Spaghetti; Penne; Rigatoni; Fettuccine; Linguine; Orzo; Ravioli; Ziti; Tortellini; Lasagne and Macaroni. This carbohydrate-rich food is a perfect part of just about any lunch or dinner. The Italian word pasta actually means dough in English. If you’re short on protein for the day, you can throw some chicken or fish in a pasta dish for dinner. If you haven’t eaten enough veggies, you can toss in some roasted broccoli and asparagus. You can pour on some thick sauce, or if you want to keep things light, you can toss it in olive oil. The point is that there is a pasta dish to fit every mood and need. But that’s only part of its success. Pasta is also relatively easy to mass produce and transport around the world, making it a popular product with food companies as well.
While we do think of pasta as a culturally Italian food, it is likely the descendent of ancient Asian noodles. A common belief about pasta is that it was brought to Italy from China by Marco Polo during the 13th century. However, noodles existed in Asia long before Polo’s trip to China. Archaeologists believe that central Asia is most likely the first area to have produced noodles thousands of years ago. From Asia, it travelled westward. The way it reached Europe is unclear, once it reached the Mediterranean the process was refined, and durum wheat became the ingredient of choice for pasta flour because of its high gluten content and long shelf life. When durum wheat pasta is dried, it lasts indefinitely, making it a very convenient food to store. Over time, because of pasta’s affordability, shelf life, and versatility, it became firmly rooted in Italian culture. The warm Mediterranean climate of Italy is suited to growing fresh vegetables and herbs, which meant that Italians could get creative with a delicious variety of pasta sauces. Tomato-based sauces emerged as a favourite complement to pasta, and tomatoes remain the most popular ingredient in pasta sauce today.
Pasta is, for all intents and purposes, a comfort food. One of its most comforting qualities is how little it has changed over the centuries. It is still made with the same essential ingredients and preparations that it has been since ancient times.
In October 1995, forty pasta producers from various countries gathered in Rome for the first World Pasta Congress, where October 25 was declared World Pasta Day. The main objectives of the day are to promote pasta consumption, to increase awareness of its nutritional value and health benefits, and to introduce people to delicious and healthy pasta recipes.
Since 2005, World Pasta Day has been coordinated by the International Pasta Organization (IPO), founded at the 2005 World Pasta Congress and formally constituted a year later. Its members are pasta manufacturers associations from Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, France, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States, and Venezuela.
The central goal of World Pasta Day is to call attention not just to the product of pasta, but to new, healthy, and creative ways to enjoy a pasta meal. The annual celebration is not only about noodles and pasta but also about the consumers of pasta. World Pasta Day points out that pasta is consumed on any continent of our world. On worldwide basis there are special noodle events organised and outstanding pasta producers are honoured.
The World Pasta Congress engages in everything from encouraging consumers to try new pasta to providing important information to institutions and promotions of this increasingly popular food. Every country is encouraged to celebrate the day in its own way while sharing the logo of the official organisation and participating in the global strategy of World Pasta Day.
Every year the IPO holds a variety of events throughout the world. The goal behind these events is to maximise the promotion of this nutritious and sustainable food. Authoritative experts also discuss the cultural, economic, scientific, and gastronomic aspects of pasta. World Pasta Day events include culinary workshops and pasta tastings, as well as seminars, conferences, and other professional events for pasta manufacturers and distributors, chefs, restaurant owners, and other industry stakeholders.
Food days are simple and easy to celebrate, but they can come with a variety of layers as well. Look to these ideas for inspiration, and then create your own ways to celebrate World Pasta Day:
Eat Pasta: One of the best ways to celebrate World Pasta Day is by preparing a favourite dish and enjoying the delicious flavours and textures that come along with that noodly goodness. There’s no better way to renew a deep appreciation for it than by wolfing down this healthy and semi-nutritious food.
Try new recipes: On this day, people are encouraged to not only try the tried-and-true pasta favourites that they enjoy but to be a little bit adventurous and enjoy some types of pasta that they wouldn’t ordinarily eat during the rest of the year. This is the ideal day to get creative and experiment with different flavours and dishes. Experiment with sauces and flavours that may be outside of the normal palate.
Make your own noodles: On World Pasta Day you can do more than cooking and eating pasta: try to make your own noodles. Sounds complicated but is really not. You need 300 gram whole meal flour with salt, three big eggs and one yolk and mix it with enough water until you get smooth dough. Feel free to shape your own pasta just the way you like. Maybe it is a good idea to try some heart shaped pasta for your family on World Pasta Day. After 30 minutes of rest the prepared pasta should be boiled in salt water.
Host a pasta party: Host a pasta party and invite your friends to bring their favourite kinds of pasta. This is a great way for everyone to come together to share their favourite pasta dish, or exchange recipe ideas with other guests to help the love of the noodle spread!