Why we’ve been lied to about pasta since we were kids

The French love pasta, and not just in times of crisis. They eat 8 kilos of it a year. This represents 488 million packets. The top 3 favorite pasta of the French (the hit pasta-rade): number 3, ex-aequo the fusilli and the tagliatelle, number 2, the penne and number 1, the spaghetti.

Contrary to what we are taught in school, Marco Polo didn’t bring the pasta back nor is their trade secret from his trip to China in the 13th century. It’s Marco Pipo! Already in the story of his trip, this good Marco, he does not mention pasta anywhere. And it’s still 500 pages!

He may have brought Chinese noodles made from rice that has existed there for over 4,000 years but not pasta made from wheat! Because in fact they already existed in Italy. And for ages! Since about 1700 BC.

The anecdote about Marco Polo was invented

A Mesopotamian culinary treatise has been found which mentions “grated” pasta made with wheat flour and water, and crumbled in a boiling liquid. And it’s not over ! In Rome, we relished fresh pasta stuffed with meat called the lagana who gave the word and the recipe for lasagna.

As to dry pasta, those we consume every day, it was the Arabs who invented them and brought them to Italy. This allowed them to keep them during their long journeys in the desert.

But then where does this story of Marco Polo come from? From the United States where the first pasta factory was established in Brooklyn in 1848 by Italian immigrants. To sell their pasta and make them attractive, they used one of the most famous Italians in the States: Marco Polo. And they made up this story.

In their pub, we saw a member of his crew discover a Chinese woman who made pasta. Do you know what they named that sailor? Macaroni! In short, Marco Polo who discovers pasta, it’s basta.

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>> Oh yeah? From Monday to Friday, Florian Gazan responds in one minute to all the essential, existential, sometimes completely absurd questions that cross your mind. Very useful or totally useless knowledge to shine in society, absolutely incredible anecdotes to share, amazing stories to tell. And each time, you will say to yourself “Ah yeah?”. An RTL Originals podcast.

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