Pasta, the most famous staple of Italian cuisine, was first recorded in Sicily in the 12th century, a few centuries after Arab invaders brought a dried, noodle-like dish to the island.
Mainly made with durum wheat and eggs or water, pasta (from the Latin for “dough”) was for many centuries a food reserved for the rich and privileged. It was not until the 18th century that industrialized production made it a cheap staple food for large numbers of Italians.
Soft and pliable pasta dough is shaped into hundreds of different forms, from the simple strands and sheets of spaghetti and lasagna to bowties, seashells, wagon wheels and bicycles.
With massive Italian immigration to America at the beginning of the 20th century, pasta’s popularity grew and it became known as Italy’s national dish.
But even as late as 1957, many people outside of Italy had no clue how it was made. On April Fool’s Day of that year, the BBC aired a story on Italians enjoying a bumper harvest of spaghetti due to a decline in the “spaghetti weevil.” The program showed Italian and Swiss families cheerfully picking long strands of spaghetti from “spaghetti trees,” and led many viewers to call in, curious about how they could plant their own.
These photos from 20th century pasta factories show the actual process by which the dough is squeezed, shaped, cut and dried on its way to the dinner table.
Inspired a bit by @copperbadge ‘s ukulele antics, I have started trying to play my guitar again, and let me tell you guys it is going both very well and horribly all at once The chords aren’t proving an issue, which is nice- I can play a bit of violin, and my fingers seemed to have remembered the whole “moving around the neck of an instrument” bit. But I can’t strum worth a damn. HOW DO YOU STRUM UP? HOOOWWWWWW?
I’m sure I’ll get it eventually, but right now my renditions of “Wagon Wheel” are a bit dull
Hochdorf Chieftain’s Grave, Germany, ~ 530 BC Art of the Celts, Historic Museum of Bern
in preparation for the afterlife, this 42cm long, bronze and iron
dagger was carried by the prince in life. The blade was protected by a
richly decorated sheath. The gold coating made for the burial consisted
of 16 parts, all precisely fitted onto the dagger without any fold.
Hochdorf Chieftain’s Grave is a richly-furnished burial chamber.
Regarded as the “Tutankamon of the Celts”, it was discovered in 1977
near Hochdorf an der Enz in Baden-Württemberg, Germany). A man of 40
years old, 6 ft 2 in (187 cm) tall was laid out on a bronze couch. He
had been buried with a gold-plated torc on his neck, a bracelet on his
right arm, and most notably, thin embossed gold plaques were on his
now-disintigrated shoes. At the foot of the couch was a large cauldron
decorated with three lions around the brim. The east side of the tomb
contained a four-wheeled wagon holding a set of bronze dishes - enough
to serve nine people.