Pasta has been one of the favourite foods of entire families for centuries. It has been around for so long that many people wonder, what exactly is the origin of pasta? Which civilisation was the first to enjoy this complete, delicious and versatile food? Pasta has been eaten by many different cultures throughout history. And today it is one of the most used ingredients around the world. There’s no question that pasta has been able to perfectly stand the test of time!
The origins of pasta: a millenary food
Although it is commonly believed that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy after his travels in the Far East at the end of the 13th century, in reality, pasta goes all the way back to the 4th century BC. This is known because in an Etruscan tomb a carving of native people making what appears to be pasta was found. But we also know that Chinese people prepared a food that was similar to what we know today as noodles, as early as 3000 BC!
Pasta in Greek mythology
Greek mythology also suggests that Vulcan, a Greek god, invented a device to make threads of dough: we are probably talking about the first spaghetti.
The New World
Pasta arrived in the New World thanks to the English, who found it during a tour in Italy. English colonisers took to America the English tradition of cooking noodles for at least 30 minutes and then adding a cream and cheese sauce to them (the famous mac ’n’cheese).
Thomas Jefferson and his macaroni making machine
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, is said to have brought the first macaroni making machine back to the US in 1789, after returning home from being an ambassador in France.
Industrial production of pasta
Thefirst industrial pasta factory in the United States was built in Brooklyn in 1848 by a Frenchman who stretched out his spaghetti on the roof, for it to dry under the sun. Production grew in the 19th century and pasta producers appeared all over the country.
Pasta in Spain
José Espona (the founder of Pastas Gallo) built the first semolina milling plant in Spain in 1956 and, in 1958, when there was barely a market for pasta in Spain he bought the old mill of El Carpio and turned it into a pasta factory. A little more than a decade later, Pastas Gallo could be found in more than 100,000 retail outlets all over Spain. Find out the whole story of José Espona and Pastas Gallo here.
Today, pasta is still an essential food for families all over the world and is produced in many shapes and sizes, and with different ingredients such as cereals or vegetables. There even are gluten-free versions of pasta.