It’s that time of year again. October 25th is officially World Pasta Day, but the whole month is really dedicated to our favourite food. In honour of the celebration, we thought we’d give you some interesting facts and information about pasta.

History

While many think that pasta was brought from China to Italy by Marco Polo in the 13th century, according to the International Pasta Organization, it’s actually been eaten since the Etruscans were living in the boot-shaped country – 20 centuries before that!

Apparently, the ancient Greeks were also pasta lovers, and Cicero, the famous Roman statesman who lived in the first century B.C., had an enormous appetite for lasagne.

Pasta didn’t meet tomato sauce until after the 16th century, when the fruit was transported across the Atlantic to Europe from Mexico.

Nations and numbers

  • Not surprisingly, Italians are the biggest pasta eaters, each chowing down on about 26 kilograms a year
  • Americans only eat about a third of that at nine kilograms
  • Canada is behind France, Germany, Portugal and Iran at only 6.5 kilograms – we can do better – let’s get munching!

Nutrition and health

Pasta is a source of:

  • Complex carbohydrates that make you feel fuller longer and help produce serotonin – a brain chemical that puts you in a good mood!
  • B vitamins that help convert food into energy, keep your skin and hair healthy and even prevent heart disease.
  • Protein, which is an important element in nearly all your parts, including bone, muscle, cartilage and blood.
  • Iron, which helps your red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body.

Pasta is low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. A half-cup of cooked pasta (a serving in Canada’s Food Guide) has 99 calories, less than a gram of fat and less than five milligrams of sodium.

So, there you have it! Eating pasta will help you and your family stay healthy, happy and satisfied. Check out our scrumptious meal ideas during the month of October and throughout the rest of the year.