Buon Appetito! The Great Pasta Quiz

Staff

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About This Quiz

Whether it's long strands of spaghetti or luscious sheets of lasagna, pasta is a perennial favorite and dietary staple throughout the world. Test your noodle about how much you really know about, well, noodles.

Pasta is made from what type of wheat?

Durum wheat is used in making pasta. Soft red winter wheat is good for cakes and pastries, while hard red winter wheat is used for bread.

Which U.S. state grows the most durum wheat?

North Dakota grows two-thirds of the durum wheat produced in America.

What are the minimum ingredients needed to make pasta?

You only need two ingredients to make pasta dough -- semolina flour, made from coarsely ground durum wheat, and water.

Which nation is credited with inventing pasta?

The Chinese were eating pasta as long ago as 5,000 B.C.

What percentage of Americans eat pasta once each week?

According to a report by the National Pasta Association, 77 percent of Americans eat pasta weekly.

What is America's favorite pasta?

By a wide margin, Americans name spaghetti as their favorite pasta.

Why are there are so many pasta shapes?

Different pasta shapes work better in different recipes. String pastas work well with light sauces; tubes are better for thick, chunky sauces, and small pastas are good in soups.

Pastas are often named for their resemblance to other things. Which pasta was named for its butterfly shape?

Farfalle means butterfly in Italian. Americans call this pasta "bowties," but this neckwear wasn't around in 1500 when farfalle pasta was created.

Which of the following is not a filled pasta?

Ditalini, a small, tubular pasta, is not filled. Ditalini means "little thimbles."

One pound of uncooked pasta makes about how much cooked pasta?

A pound of dry pasta yields about 8 cups of cooked pasta.

Which pasta are you eating if you're eating "little ears?"

Orecchiette, or "little ears," is often favored for pasta salads.

About how many pounds of pasta do children eat each year?

Children eat around 62 pounds of pasta each year. Spaghetti and macaroni are their favorites.

Where was the first American pasta factory opened?

Brooklyn, N.Y., was home to the first pasta factory in the United States. Antoine Zerega, a Frenchman, opened it in 1848.

How many different pasta shapes are produced throughout the world?

Worldwide, manufacturers produce 600 different pasta shapes.

Who is credited with bringing macaroni to America?

While serving as the United States' ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson sent crates of macaroni, along with a pasta-making machine, back to America.

Why did the ancient Greeks refer to pasta as "marcus?"

Marcus translates to "divine food" -- the Greeks believed pasta was a gift from the gods.

What vessel was used in 2010 to hold the Guinness Book of World Record's largest bowl of spaghetti?

In March 2010, chefs from Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant in Garden Grove, Calif., used an above-ground swimming pool to hold 13,780 pounds of spaghetti and 120 gallons of marinara sauce, earning recognition for the world's largest bowl of spaghetti.

Pasta should be cooked "al dente." What does that mean?

"Al dente" literally means "to the tooth." In pasta-cooking terms, it means boil the pasta until it's chewy but still firm.

When is National Pasta Month?

National Pasta Month is celebrated in October, probably because World Pasta Day is Oct. 25.

What diet trend caused pasta sales to slump in the late 1990s?

After steadily rising for decades, pasta consumption dropped with the popularity of the Atkins Diet and other low-carbohydrate meal plans in the late 1990s.

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