Welcome to the new issue of The Truth About Pasta, the monthly newsletter from the International Pasta Organization. Each month's newsletter features a new and different topic -- all pointing to The Truth About Pasta. The truth is......pasta is healthy, sustainable, convenient, delicious, affordable, doesn't make you fat, and much, much more. Be sure to look for each new issue, with more topics and information.
Every day, families, community groups, and friends all over the world come together for delicious, hearty, pasta meals. Because pasta is like a canvas for seasonal and cultural ingredients, this versatile grain food has a history in cuisines all across the globe. In fact, a report from Oxfam found that pasta is one of the world's favorite foods, taking the top spot in countries like South Africa, Germany, and the Netherlands. Here are four ways to enjoy a pasta meal from your own heritage, or to learn about the traditional foods of another country:
SPAIN: In northern Spain, a Catalan dish called fideuà is made by simmering pasta slowly in a hearty shellfish broth, somewhat like a mix between risotto and paella.
GREECE: For the ultimate taste of comfort food, try pastitsio, a traditional Greek dish (similar to lasagna) made of tubular noodles, ground meat, and creamy béchamel sauce, baked until golden brown. Go to recipe >
PASTA IS A GLOBAL FOOD
From one-pot pasta meals in the United States, to pasta on school lunch menus in Japan, pasta is a growing global phenomenon. Watch this video to learn more about the popularity of pasta worldwide.
Pasta is Good for Global Consumption
According to the scientific experts at the Fifth World Pasta Congress, "Pasta meals are enjoyed in cultural traditions worldwide." Indeed, food and nutrition experts from all across the globe take pride in their country's delicious and nutritious pasta meals. According to Dr. Mauro Fisberg, of the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, "When we eat pasta in Brazil our sauces and combinations are slightly different than those of the traditional Mediterranean diet and pasta is a main meal. Our recipes are compared to the best in the world."
Indeed, "Every country has its own interesting take," explained food historian Francine Segan as she introduced people to the creative ways that pasta is prepared across the globe during her presentation at the 2015 World Pasta Day celebration in Milan, Italy. From sopa seca di fideo (spaghetti topped with avocado, queso, cilantro, and meat) in Mexico tomee goreng (pasta tossed with chicken, chiles, and spices) in Indonesia, there is hardly a nation that has not left their unique culinary fingerprint on pasta meals. For this reason, Francine Segan declares that...
"pasta is the thing that is going to unite the world."
Not only are pasta meals hearty and healthy, but they are also fun to make. When families and friends meet up to cook together or host a dinner party, someone almost always suggests a pasta meal - a crowd-pleasing favorite. After all, few other dishes can bring both novice cooks and experienced chefs together in the kitchen to bond over the art of a well loved meal.
Delicious, healthy pasta meals are also the perfect way to bring together people from all ages and backgrounds, and few people exemplify this practice better than Italian-American chef Bruno Serato, who was honored at the 2015 World Pasta Day celebration in Milan, Italy. Chef Serato founded Caterina's Club in Anaheim (California), a program that serves more than 1,200 needy children a nutritionally balanced meal based on pasta and fresh vegetables each night. He started in 2005 by feeding a plate of pasta every night to a handful of Motel Kids and was awarded as one of the 10 CNN "heroes" of the year in 2011.