National Spaghetti Day

esq-spaghetti-sauce-0412-lgJanuary 4 is National Spaghetti Day! Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical form of pasta, usually topped with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and often with vegetables or meat added to it.

Though the origin of spaghetti is debatable, the first recorded incidence of boiled noodles being prepared was in the Jerusalem Talmud, suggesting that Arabs created the food in the 5th century. Spaghetti noodles in the form we know them today have been traced back to Sicily in the 12th century when Sicilians first created the long string-like pasta. The word spaghetti comes from the Italian word spaghetto and it literally translates to “little strings.” Pasta popularity spread throughout the rest of Italy in 19th century when pasta factories began to open up across the country, allowing for mass production. Spaghetti was first served in the United States in the late 19th century, appearing on menus as Spaghetti Italienne, a dish likely served with a mild tomato sauce and simple spices and vegetables like clove, bay leaves, and garlic. Soon after its introduction to the United States, canned versions of the dish were produced along with spaghetti kits, making it easy to prepare and readily available to everyone. This simplification of this already simple meal has made it a staple dish in American diets.

"Touched by His Noodly Appendage," a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, is an iconic image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Arne Niklas Jansson.

“Touched by His Noodly Appendage,” a parody of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, is an iconic image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Arne Niklas Jansson.

Spaghetti has become such a significant meal, that many pop culture references have been made about the pasta dish. Famous Italian actress Sophia Loren was once quoted attributing her success to the dish saying, “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” In March 2010, the Guinness World Record for world’s largest serving of spaghetti was made at Buca Di Beppo’s Garden Grove in California when they filled a swimming pool with 13,780 pounds of spaghetti. Spaghetti was also a part of one of the biggest April Fool’s pranks ever pulled when the BBC convinced many of their viewers that spaghetti noodles grew on trees. Also, lest we forget about the Flying Spaghetti Monster? This guy’s got an entire religious movement centered around him.

Looking for the perfect recipe to celebrate today with? We’ve got you covered:

Sources: Wikipedia, Punchbowl, Seamless

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