Elisa's Daily Scoop CURRENTLY TRAVELING IN: BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
History of Spaghetti
Can you believe we are almost half-way through the first week of 2017??
That's right, it's Hump Day, and I'm still soaking up the sun here in sunny Florida! Guys, I soooo don't want to go home to New York. LOL.
Well, I'm going to just enjoy my last few days here.
Speaking of enjoying things, being of Italian descent, both Tanya and I are not only foodies, but we are pasta foodies! And we couldn't let this day go by without acknowledging its importance.
I'm referring to the fact that today is National Spaghetti Day. What I can tell you is that in celebration, my family gang is going to indulge in a wonderful meal of home-made tomato sauce and spaghetti this evening!
I already have the sauce cooking for our Wednesday night feast!
It got me thinking about Spaghetti and its origins and history.
Most people take for granted that these long, pasta noodles have their origins in China, discovered and brought back to Italy by Marco Polo.
However, there is evidence to the contrary that Sicily may actually be the place where pasta in the West may have first been worked into long, thin forms in around the 12th century.
SPAGHETTI DRYING (c) wiki.org
In fact according to thebestofsicily.com and author, Robert Gangi, Siciily may well be the birth place of Spaghetti.
It was back in early 1154, before the death of Sicily's monarch, King Roger II, a court chronicler and geographer named Abu Abdullah Mohammed al Edrisi (or Idrisi) completed a detailed geographical survey of Sicily, which was entitled the "Book of Roger."
What is known about Idrisi is that he was born in northwestern Africa and educated in Spain, later arriving in Palermo, Sicity in 1139 and then commissioned to research the global geography of Sicily.
Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani as-Sabti, or simply Al-Idrisi was a Muslim geographer, cartographer and Egyptologist who lived in Palermo, Sicily at the court of King Roger II. (Born: 1099, Ceuta, Spain - Died: 1165, Sicily, Italy)
What's interesting is that this occurred a century prior to Marco Polo's birth. Even more intriguing is that similarly to items such as lemons and oranges, which were introduced to Sicity by the Arabs, so too, was the variety of durum wheat known in Sicily during the Middle Ages. The same kind that was and is used to make Spaghetti.
A world map (with South at the top) from a 14th or 15th-century copy of Tabula Rogeriana held by the Bodleian Library (c)wiki
But, the story gets more compelling. According to Gangi, "A casual observation in the Book of Roger mentions that in the Sicilian town of Trabia the inhabitants made a form of pasta from hard wheat, and that this product, shaped into long strands, was manufactured in large quantity for export to other regions.
Edrisi does not speculate about the origin of this "spaghetti," but the fact that he considers it noteworthy, and that it was widely exported to a thriving market, may indicate that it was not known outside Sicily at that time --at least not in the Mediterranean."
However, from a historical perspective, this would appear to be evidence that Spaghetti was invented in Sicily (as well as possibly having been invented in China as well) BUT, it may not have been Marco Polo who actually brought it for the first time to the Mediterrean, which goes against popular belief!
I just love reading about these great historical things - especially when it comes to food!
And to celebrate - I will probably have TWO helpings of one of my favorite types of pasta tonight!!
Have a great one!! -E xoxo
Tanya's Daily Scoop NEXT TRIP DEPARTS IN: 2 DAYS
You never knew so much about Spaghetti
Well Hello again! How good of you to make it ;)
I really must share with you how fond I am of our daily little rendezvouz!
I've only got 2 more days until my first trip of 2017, and in case you are wondering if I am ready to go...the answer is no I am not.
I tend to move on a slower pace when it's a road trip vs when I am flying somewhere. I still keep a pretty rigid schedule - but when it comes to packing and being "ready" I really milk it.
So on that note I did break out our "winter" duds, thermals, hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, and boots. I have everything stacked, but not quite put into any sort of luggage.
I made sure to do a couple of load of laundry - who wants to come home to dirty clothes?!
However while being this domestic laundry goddess, a freakin knob on the washer broke - like it snapped off! Ohhhh CRAP!
And now the machine is permenantely stuck on super small load. Not only that, but when I tried to do a super small load the freakin thing didn't seem to be functioning to the point where there was no water flowing into the tub. Not Good.
After all of my chores we had decided to finally go to the movies and see "Why Him?" and it was really quite a cute hoot!
And now today. Well today is so full of things to do, it's a bit cra cra.
I'm taking a mini break so that I can write to YOU and catch you up on things. But I have a ton to do, and on top of that I had told Cosette that if it doesn't rain that I'd take her to go see Dream. And guess what?? It's not raining.
After all is said and done, which also includes going to pick up Cosette's leased ski package, Dave and I plan to go see yet another movie tonight - "Lion" adapted from the internationally Best selling memior "A Long Way Home".
And since it is really not a movie that the kids seem very interested in, they will most likely stay at home, maybe play some games and the plan is for Dominic to cook tonight's pasta dinner. He is quite the chef!
Speaking of pasta, let's talk Spaghetti!!
There is a pasta shape to complement every pasta dish out there. Pairing the correct pasta shape can make a big difference in your overall satisfaction when cooking.
What's the difference PASTA or MACARONI? There is a difference while Macaroni IS a type of Pasta and all Macaroni is Pasta. Not all Pasta is Macaroni. Macaroni is a type of dry pasta in the shape of narrow tubes. Macaroni is usually cut into short lengths.
However...real Italians call it all Macaroni! And that is exactly what my Grandparents and Great Grandparents called it. I'm kinda embarrassed to admit that I've grown out of that habit and now call it Pasta.
And what about NOODLES? According to the National Pasta Association, noodles must contain at least 5.5% egg solids by weight. Noodles can be added to soups and casseroles while pasta can be made a complete meal with addition of a few vegetables. Pasta is much lighter and, under Italian law, can only be made with durum wheat.
Now let's get back to Spaghetti, it has it's own holiday, but is it even the most popular shape?
Spaghetti is obviously the most commonly used pasta around the world and are long rounded hair like strands. Italian, plural of spaghetto, diminutive of spago thin rope - Late Latin spacus twine. According to the Oxford Dictionary the name Spaghetti literally means ‘thin strings, twine’
Spaghetti is also available in different varieties in the market that include Spaghettini a thinner form, Spaghettoni a thicker form, Bucatini that is thicker and is hollow in center, Capllini and Angels Hair are very thin forms. Just so you know - the Spaghetti shape pasta is best suited with thin sauces or olive oil.
DID YOU KNOW: that there are more than 300 different types of pasta! And each shape has a story, most shapes being regional specialities to their originating towns.
You can read the interesting history of Spaghetti in Elisa's column.
Well writing this sure has got me in the mood for a good hearty plateful of Spaghetti!
I even found a plate of Spaghetti on a float at the Rose Parade!
On the Ragu float (c)travelincousins.com
Well now the time has come for me to get busy again. I'll catch ya back here on the flip side. -T