This holiday is always held on January 4. Today is National Spaghetti Day. Grab a big bowl, fill it with spaghetti, top it with a generous helping of your favorite sauce, and dig in. And, don’t forget the meatballs and parmesan cheese! Spaghetti is one of over 600 shapes of pasta. It is by far, the most popular shape. Many people think of Italy and Italian cuisine, as the birthplace of spaghetti. In reality pasta, or macaroni, dates back to ancient times. Ancient cultures were cooking pasta noodles well before they were introduced to Italy and other parts of Europe. Marco Polo has been erroneously credited with bringing spaghetti and pastas to Europe. But, records show Europeans cooking pasta well before Marco Polo began his travels. Peering even farther back in time, Arab cultures were selling dried spaghetti-like noodles in open markets in the early 1200’s. The Chinese were cooking pasta noodles as far back as 5,000 B.C. While ancient cultures were making and eating spaghetti and other pastas well before it came to Europe, it’s the Italians who popularized it in cuisines. It was introduced into the United States through the travels of Thomas Jefferson, who brought it back from Naples, Italy in 1789. Italian immigrants also brought it over with them to the U.S., where its popularity quickly spread. Spaghetti in Italian means thin string or twine. Did you Know? Americans consume about 20 pounds of pasta per person per year. We hope you thoroughly enjoy your bowl of Spaghetti today. To more completely enjoy this special day, make the spaghetti noodles yourself. It’s a cinch. All you need is flour, water and a pasta maker.
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