Exploding the myth that Marco Polo discovered pasta in China and brought it back to Italy (a story invented by the editors of the Macaroni Journal, a newsletter of the National Macaroni Manufacturers Association in America), this volume shows that pasta has existed in various forms throughout Middle Eastern, Asian, and even North African culinary cultures long before its appearance in the West. Pasta is indeed the universal food.
Who did invent pasta? The Chinese certainly cultivated wheat and mixed it with water to form shapes several centuries before pasta´s earliest mentions in Western cookbooks of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This book chronicles the infancy of lasagne, vermicelli and other forms of dried and fresh pasta, and the impact of rolling pins, hand presses, and pasta-making machines in the industrial age. Serventi and Sabban then relate the history of stuffed pastas and sauces. Equally important is the story of bing, the Chinese pasta with a rich history.
Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food shows that this enormously popular foodstuff is not merely a form of nourishment but the result of a lengthy process of cultural construction and the culmination of a wide array of knowledge, skills, and techniques.