The Pasta Story

By Paula Glynn

Pasta starting in the 1st century AD
Changing its design throughout time
A tradition everyone to later know
Everyone to experience
And around food markets in Italy people see
The different types of pasta for their dinner
But in the far past
Writings of Horace, lagana were fine sheets of fried dough
Which were an everyday foodstuff
Cooks in Italian kitchens
Knowing how to make fried dough
Writing in the 2nd century Athenaeus of Naucratis
Provided a recipe for lagana
Which he attributed to the 1st century Chrysippus of Tyana:
Sheets of dough made of wheat flour
And the juice of crushed lettuce
Then flavoured with spices and deep-fried in oil
Knowing freshly made food better to consume
Not wanting mealtimes to spoil
And with lack of a fridge and freezer
Food could not be stored for long
The cook preparing food early on
In the afternoon in the hot kitchen
Knowing that family needed to be fed soon
And well before the sun setting
And the appearance of the moon,

An early 5th century cookbook describing
A dish called lagana
An ancestor of modern-day lasagna
A dish everyone enjoys:
A dish every cook employs
That consisted of layers of dough with meat stuffing
A dish utterly delicious with no bluffing
The first concrete information
Concerning pasta products in Italy
Dates from the 13th or 14th century
Time carrying on its traditions
The Italians adventurous with their food
Italian dinners always boosting a person’s mood
With delicious tomato sauce and pasta
The story of pasta vital in the modern world

Due to the result of extensive Mediterranean trading in the Middle Ages
Food historians estimate that the dish probably took hold in Italy
From the 13th century, references to pasta dishes—
Macaroni, ravioli, gnocchi, vermicelli—
Cropping up with increasing frequency across the Italian peninsula
In the 14th-century writer Boccaccio’s collection of earthy tales, The Decameron
He recounted a mouthwatering fantasy
Concerning a mountain of Parmesan cheese
Cheese a big part of the Italian diet
An Italian dish without cheese a mistake
But pasta chefs roll macaroni and ravioli to gluttons waiting below
Chefs knowing what they know
In the 14th and 15th centuries
Dried pasta became popular for its easy storage
Making it a historical convenience food
Allowing sailors to store pasta on ships when exploring the New World
A century later, pasta being present
Around the globe during the voyages of discovery
Although tomatoes were introduced to Italy in the 16th century
Incorporated in Italian cuisine in the 17th century,
Description of the first Italian tomato sauces
Dating from the late 18th century: the first written record of pasta
With tomato sauce being found in the 1790 cookbook L’Apicio Moderno
By Roman chef Francesco Leonardi
Before tomato sauce was introduced, pasta being eaten with the fingers
The liquid sauce demanding the use of a fork
But changes to traditional Italian food were welcomed
And embraced throughout the world,

At the beginning of the 17th century,
Naples had rudimentary machines for producing pasta
Later establishing the kneading machine and press
Making pasta manufacturing cost-effective
People in Italy knowing they didn’t need to be selective
About purchasing their pasta
And in 1740, a license for the first pasta factory was issued in Venice
Meaning pasta had travelled around the world
The public in most countries taking advantage
Of the convenient manufacturers
Water mills and stone grinders during the 1800s
Were used to separate semolina from the bran
Initiating expansion of the pasta market
With many pasta brands
Feeding the population of the world:
Through the rich and through to the poor

In 1859, Joseph Topits (1824−1876) founded
Hungary’s first pasta factory, in the city of Pest
Which worked with steam machines;
Steam machines that past the test
It was one of the first pasta factories in Central Europe
Again, with the public buying pasta by the load
Pastas popularity to explode
Giving secure jobs to many workers
And by 1867, Buitoni Company in Sansepolcro,
Tuscany was an established pasta manufacturer
And during the early 1900s, artificial drying and extrusion processes
Enabled greater variety of pasta preparation
And larger volumes for export
Different pastas factories did sort
Beginning a period called ‘The Industry of Pasta’
The Zátka Brothers’s plant in Boršov nad Vltavou founded in 1884
Making pasta for even the poor
And making it Bohemia’s first pasta factory
People keeping various pastas in their pantries
And boosting manufacturing work
The economy fed by pasta
Throughout the world:
A trend that will never end
Sales booming
Work to continue: unemployment not ruling

In modern times the art of making pasta
And the devotion to the food as a whole
To evolve since pasta was first conceptualize
In 2008 it being estimated that Italians ate over 27 kg (60 lb)
Of pasta per person, per year
Beating Americans, who ate about 9 kg (20 lb) per person
Pasta so beloved in Italy
It has to be believed
The ancients succeeding with food they did conceive
That individual consumption exceeding
The average production of wheat of the country:
Therefore Italy to frequently import wheat for pasta making
Ideas for dinner every cook taking
The staple food overtaking other world food traditions
In contemporary society pasta is ubiquitous
Anyone finding a variety of types in local supermarkets
With no hassle or stress
For Italian food tastes delicious and is the best
The worldwide demand for this staple food
Pasta now largely mass-produced in factories
Only a tiny proportion is crafted by hand
For Italians keep the tradition of pasta alive
For everyone working nine to five
A food sold all over the globe:
And with good reason for its variety
And variety of use in the kitchen
The cook knowing their dishes
And serving food any Italian would love

Pasta to be generally served with a tasty sauce
The sauce and the type of pasta matched
Based on consistency and ease of eating
Northern Italian cooking uses less tomato sauce, garlic and herbs
And white sauce is more common
Every cook knowing the importance of a good sauce
Pasta dishes with the use of tomatoes
Tomatoes easy to get hold of
Throughout the globe
Italian cuisine being identified by individual regions
Being found in Trentino-Alto Adige and Emilia Romagna
In Bologna, the meat-based Bolognese sauce
That is readymade and can be bought
Incorporating a small amount of tomato concentrate
And the green sauce called pesto every cook knows
Originating from Genoa, the place everyone should go
In Central Italy, there are sauces such as tomato sauce, amatriciana, arrabbiata
The egg-based carbonara, too
A sauce that will always do
When limited food items in the pantry

Tomato sauces are present in Southern Italian cuisine
Where they originated years and years ago
Passed down from generation to generation
Various recipes all expert cooks know
Whereas in Southern Italy more complex variations
Include pasta paired with fresh vegetables, olives, capers or seafood
Varieties include puttanesca, pasta alla Norma (tomatoes, eggplant and fresh or baked cheese)
People around the table saying ‘more please! ‘
Pasta con le sarde (fresh sardines, pine nuts, fennel and olive oil)
That does not spoil
Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino (literally with garlic, olive oil and hot chilli peppers)
Pasta con i peperoni cruschi (crispy peppers and breadcrumbs)
A belly full of wonderful food
Knowing tomorrow more Italian food will come
Food to be celebrated in the fresh air and under the hot sun
And Italian family sitting around the table outside
Enjoying all the culinary delights
Of an expert Italian cook.

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