Everyone knows that when they eat pasta, they are most likely consuming an Italian dish. However, as is common with well-loved world cuisines, the origins of pasta are highly contested and may be found in many intersections of time and place. Sebastiano’s Italian Restaurant is here to inform you exactly where pasta comes from. We are featured as one of the best pasta restaurants near me and also one of the best Italian restaurants near me.
Where Did It Come From?
“The history of pasta is difficult to trace for several reasons. The word itself translates to ‘paste’ in Italian. This is a reference to the dough, made from a combination of flour and water or eggs – all simple components that have been around for centuries. This makes it hard to differentiate pasta from other ancient dishes made from the same ingredients. In addition, since pasta has long been a food of the common people, it has not received as much attention as more extravagant foods.” This was said by Tori Avey in the book The History Kitchen.
Let’s travel back in time and around the world, to take a look at the possible origins of pasta.
Legend Has It
The most common – and as many historians argue, quite inaccurate – story about pasta is attributed to the legendary traveler Marco Polo. Noodles existed in China and Asia long before pasta appeared in the Mediterranean world, and the legend goes that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from China in the 13th century. Apparently, there are passages in The Travels of Marco Polo (by Marco Polo, of course) that refer to “pasta-like dishes.”
At the same time, historians note that Marco Polo’s familiarity with the food “pasta” suggests that it was already in existence, and he simply gave it a name. Food historian Harold McGee writes in his book, On Food and Cooking: “It’s a story often told, and often refuted, that the medieval traveler Marco Polo found noodles in China and introduced them to Italy. A recent book by Silvano Serventi and Francoise Sabban has set the record straight in authoritative and fascinating detail. China was indeed the first country to develop the art of noodle making, but there were pastas in the Mediterranean world long before Marco Polo.”
The Pasta Restaurants Near Me Believe…
While it’s highly unlikely that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy, it is believed that pasta as we know it made its way westward from Asia at an earlier time, perhaps by nomadic Arab traders. According to Culinary Lore, “There are written reports of ‘a food made from flour in the form of strings,’ in Sicily, described by an Arab trader named Idrisi in 1154, well before Marco Polo’s travels. There were even noodles called Rishta in the Middle East, a food of Persian origin. Also, at the Spaghetti Museum in Pontedassio, Imperia, there are several documents from 1240, 1279, and 1284 which refer to pasta, maccheroni, and vermicelli as known foods, well before Marco Polo’s return in 1292.”
Furthermore, it is suggested that Rishta became popular in Sicily, due to the high number of Arab traders on the island. It is believed that Rishta came to Italy via the Silk Road, the well-worn trading path from Asia to Europe.
Visit Us Today
There are many traditional Italian dishes for you to discover and learn the history about, especially pasta. Compliment this tasty meal with the cities freshest tomatoes. If you are looking for the best Italian Hollywood FL, call Sebastiano’s Italian Restaurant today to make a reservation! We are the best pizza restaurant near me. Stop by and see for yourself. We are deemed one of the best pasta restaurants near me.