Pasta

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“Ours more than a people is a collection. But when lunchtime breaks out, sitting in front of a plate of spaghetti, the inhabitants of the Peninsula recognize themselves as Italians… Not even military service, not even universal suffrage (let us not talk about fiscal duty) exercise equal unifying power. The Unity of Italy, dreamed of by the fathers of the Risorgimento, today is called pastasciutta.” (cit. Cesare Marchi).

When we talk about Made in Italy, we cannot but treat pasta, a symbolrecognized and appreciated all over the world. The aforementioned food obtained from the grinding of wheat can be both dry and fresh; this depends on the water content left in the dough. Pasta can appear on our boards in various forms (long, short, nest or matassa, small, stuffed), in various colors (green, red, orange, yellow, brown, black) and with different surfaces (smooth, rough, striped). But, the origins of this symbol have roots in distant times and are linked to an event that has the aftertaste of legend. It is thought, in fact, that the pasta was invented by the Chinese and brought to Italy, and later throughout Europe, by Marco Polo in 1295. It is plausible to argue that the Chinese also made use of pasta in their culinary tradition, but historically it is proven that it has even older origins traceable in the Mediterranean tradition. It is no coincidence, in fact, that pasta is among the foods at the base of the Mediterranean diet discovered by the Americans in the Seventies and has become a worldwide model of correct nutrition. It provides carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral salts in a balanced way, while the intake of animal fats and proteins is minimal. Let’s take a dive into the past. We are in the 14th century when pasta consumption was not yet particularly widespread among the poor classes due to the high cost. Only in the seventeenth century, with the spread of the gramola (an instrument that makes pasta soft and homogeneous) and the invention of mechanical turbidity, production and diffusion became abundant, thus leading to a considerable reduction in price. In the first half of the seventeenth century in the Neapolitan area there was a real revolution: the introduction of tomatoes. The combination with pasta was so natural and overwhelming that it became the basic dish for people of humble extraction for its low cost. At first the pasta was served for little money on a piece of paper and eaten on the street; at the beginning of the eighteenth century even the nobles approached the new dish. In this fervent culinary climate, Gennaro Spadaccini (chamberlain of the Kingdom of Naples) reinvented the fork adding two rebbi to the already existing couple. According to the reports, success was not long in coming so that fashion spread rapidly to Italy and the rest of Europe. Over time, there have been improvements in the pasta production process. Initially with hydraulic machines, then steam, then electric and finally computerized. Since then, the pasta tradition has remained solidly Italian. It is not to be underestimated the fact that italians are the biggest consumers of this product. With more than three million tons of pasta, analyzing the latest recorded data, Italy ranks among the largest pasta exporters in the world. An evolution imposed and dictated by the market saw Italian pasta factories take action so that the production was able to satisfy even the most demanding palates. Considerable resources have been invested by Italian producers to be competitive on the market, while not forgetting or neglecting the important aspect that has always distinguished and characterizes Made in Italy production: quality. Best of Italy is proposed as a showcase to promote, enhance also abroad all those companies that contribute, with their own production, to the growth of the Made in Italy brand. Among the Italian products that represent the flagship of Made in Italy is, undeniably, pasta. How can a consumer be sure to buy a product that is really Made in Italy? The Decree of 26 July 2017 replied to this question by requiring producers to indicate on the pasta label the following words: – Country of wheat cultivation, country of milling, – Country of packaging. In the event that operations take place in the territories of more than one Member State of the European Union or located outside the aforementioned borders, you can use the words EU, non-EU, EU and non-EU. The particulars must be labelled in an obvious, visible, clearly legible and indelible place. Another protection for the consumer is the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/775 concerning the indication of the country of origin and the place of origin of the primary ingredient of a food. Best of Italy is proposed as a partner to be able to present and promote Made in Italy products. Collaboration, attention to detail, attention to detail, continuous and constant research are the cradle within which the project to enhance and promote Made in Italy alongside the companies that produce in Italy in the name of quality grows.