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chitarra.jpg
A pasta guitar (or Chitarra)

In 18th century England, macaroni was a synonym for perfection and excellence. That's why, for example, the feather in Yankee Doodle's cap was called "macaroni." In fact, the word "macaroni" means "dearest darlings" in Italian.  

 

The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C. 

 

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States. It seems that he fell in love with a certain dish he sampled in Naples while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. In fact, he promptly ordered crates of "macaroni," along with a pasta-making machine, sent back to the States. 

 

Cooked al dente (al-DEN-tay) literally means "to the tooth," which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. The pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but tender.

The word "pasta" comes from the Italian word for paste. 

Many of the names given to pasta shapes are Italian, but the Italians hardly have the patent on this food. 

 

The Chinese may have eaten noodles as early as 5,000 B.C.

 

Sorry folks, Marco Polo did not bring pasta to Italy from the Far East in 1292. If he did, it was probably to compare it to the pasta already there.

 

The Etruscans were making pasta as early as 400 B.C.

 

Wherever invented, it seems Sicily, once an Arab colony, was the cradle of the art of drying fresh pasta.  Sicilians were also the first to boil it in water.

 

Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing Pasta to the U.S. in the late 1780s, after visiting Naples while he was the American ambassador to France.

 

The first industrial pasta factory in America was built in Brooklyn in 1848 by a Frenchman! He spread his spaghetti strands on the roof so they could dry in the sunshine.  

 

Pasta remained a relatively uncommon food until the late 19th century when Italian immigrants, primarily from Sicily, introduced the dried wheat pastas that have become the most popular variety in this country.

 

There are more than 750 pasta shapes produced worldwide.

Italy is still the number one country for pasta consumption.

 

Italians consume an estimated 62 pounds of pasta per capita.

 

Americans consume an estimated 14 pounds of pasta per capita in the United States.

 

Italy's occurrence of obesity is only 37 percent, compared to 61 percent in the United States.

 

To put it bluntly, Italians eat four times as much pasta than Americans and are far less likely to be overweight.

 

5 billion pounds of pasta were consumed in 2000.

 

In the Northeast and the West, one in five residents serves pasta three or more times a week.

 

 

A pasta guitar was used to cut Pasta!  Called  a "Chitarra" (Italian for guitar), A wooden frame was strung with music wire, Originated in the Abruzzi region of Italy, You roll pieces of pasta dough by hand, place the sheet of fresh pasta on the wires, and press the sheet through the wires with a rolling pin