October is National Pasta Month, celebrating one of the world’s most accessible foods. Nearly every country has its own unique version of this popular staple. Perhaps one of the most amazing things about pasta is that it has changed so little over the hundreds or perhaps thousands of years since first made and consumed.
Pasta is not originally from Italy as most people think. Food historians believe that Arabs are to be credited for bringing pasta, along with spinach, eggplant and sugar cane, to Italy during the Arab conquest of Sicily in the 9th century AD. By the 12th century the Italians had learned from the Arabs methods to dry pasta to preserve it while traveling. As centuries went by, pasta continued to appear on Italian tables with different names. In the 1400s it was called “lasagna.” By the 1800 the name changed to “vermicellai.” The 17th century brought about the first rudimentary machines for the production of pasta.
Early settlers were among ...
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