It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t like pasta. Culture to culture, different takes on the food have been consumed for centuries. Who invented pasta? Why is it so popular? Why do we enjoy it so much? Let’s take a look at the history of everyone’s favorite carb!
Though it is argued who invented pasta, The Chinese have the oldest recorded evidence of pasta. It is said that they were eating pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.
It is rumored that Marco Polo discovered pasta while in China, but that is not the case. Ponzio Baestone, a Genoan soldier, requested a small basket of macaroni in his will in 1279. This was 16 years before Polo returned from China.
Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States. He discovered the dish while serving as an Ambassador to France. He enjoyed it so much that he ordered crates of macaroni, along with a pasta-making machine to be sent back to the U.S.
The first pasta factory in the United States began production in 1848 in Brooklyn, New York. A Frenchman named Antoine Zerega was the owner and operator of the facility. He dried his spaghetti by placing strands of the pasta on his roof to dry in the sunshine!
Meatballs were invented in America. Italians only consumed meat a few times a month in Italy. It was when arriving in the United States, where meat was far more plentiful; the Italians began adding it to more dishes. This is when meatballs came to be.
Italians consume more than 51 pounds of pasta per year! That’s over three times more than we do here in America, where the average person consumes about 15 pounds of pasta per year.
Approximately 2.75 million tons of pasta are made in Italy each year, and 1.9 million tons are produced in the United States per year. That’s a whole lotta pasta!
There are more than 600 different shapes of pasta produced around the world!
Are you hungry yet? Go eat some pasta already!