Pasta is one of America’s favorite foods. Last year, 1.3 million pounds of pasta were sold in American grocery stores. If you lined up 1.3 million pounds of 16 oz. spaghetti packages, it could circle the Earth’s equator almost nine times!
Agricultural Council of America
The first commercial pasta plant in the U.S. was founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1848 by a Frenchman!
According to a survey by the National Pasta Association, 77% of Americans surveyed eat pasta at least once a week, and 1/3 eat pasta 3 or more times a week.
By 3,000 B.C., the Chinese were eating noodles: long and flat, wide or thin, made with wheat, corn, rice or peas. Italians swear, however, that pasta was in Italy long before Marco Polo’s first trip to China (the first in 1255).
Thomas Jefferson brought a pasta making machine back with him in 1789, when he returned to America after serving as ambassador to France. It was not until 1848 that pasta was first produced commercially in the U.S., and not until the late 19th century that it became popular.
One bushel of wheat will make about 42 pounds of pasta.
At least 10 years before Marco Polo's trip to China, Romans were eating ravioli, lasagna and macaroni, and there are references to fettuccine from even earlier than that.
According to the National Pasta Association, Americans consume about 20 pounds of pasta per person each year. Italians eat more than 3 times that amount.
There are more than 500 different pasta shapes. Translating their names into English does not exactly make them sound appetizing: worms, spindles, hats, butterflies, twins, tubes, thimbles, little boys, little ears, quill pens, strings, ribbons etc.
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