What countries have the highest pasta consumption? - Answers

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What countries have the highest pasta consumption?

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World map showing highest pasta consuming nations The traditional staple food of Italian cuisine: Pasta, dates its origin back to 1154, in Sicily. Pasta consumption has increased in numerous countries. Commonly used in a variety of dishes, it is made with dough that is not leavened by using rising agents or yeast. Available in mainly two forms- dried and fresh, pasta is made from durum wheat, which is the second most cultivated species of wheat after the common wheat. Representing only a mere 5%-8% of global wheat production, it was developed by the artificial selection of domesticated emmer wheat strains. This wheat is largely grown in the Middle East.

The resistance of the durum grains to milling implies that the dough from its flour would be soft and weak. This feature of durum wheat makes it most favorable for semolina and pasta. The wheat middlings of durum wheat is the most used for pasta production. This is called semolina, which results in the dough, which is easy to shape and hence can be thinned into sheets or strands.

Both dried and fresh pasta comes in a variety of shapes and variants, with 310 specific forms known by over 1300 documented names. All of these can be used in three kinds of prepared dishes: ‘Pasta asciutta‘ meaning pasta cooked and served with a side sauce or condiment; ‘pasta in brodo’ meaning pasta is part of a soup-type dish and lastly, ‘pasta al forno’, in which pasta is incorporated in a baked dish.

In terms of nutrition, the cooked pasta is 31% carbohydrates( mainly starch), and 6% protein, with moderate amounts of manganese. Whereas fortified pasta has a high-calorie content and a few micronutrients like niacin, riboflavin, folate, thiamine, and ferrous iron. The art of pasta making has evolved since its first conceptualization, with various forms and styles developed in order to meet the needs of people. This is also reflected by the production of gluten-free pasta, which processes rice and maize in order to address these health issues.



The fresh type of pasta is usually locally made with fresh ingredients like a mixture of eggs and all-purpose wheat. Consideration is paid to the spoilage rates, in case of the product is being shipped. The striking feature of this type of pasta is the ‘tenderness’ as compared to the dried pasta and the time required to cook it. This is due to the addition of eggs as a major ingredient. On the other hand, the dried type of pasta also called factory-made pasta is made in large amounts using machines with advanced capabilities to manufacture. This is the most suitable type for shipment over the seas. The primary contents of this type of pasta are semolina flour and water. They are required to be dried out at low temperatures for several days in order for the moisture to evaporate, increasing their shelf life. The storage also relies on the extent of its processing and the degree of dryness. It could vary from a year to 5 refrigerator days, in the case of dry and fresh pasta respectively.

Originally solely a part of Italian and European cuisine, pasta consumption has crossed international borders. This is due to the Italian migration trends into the American continents around the beginning of the 20th century. With this international introduction of the cuisine, it has been adapted and incorporated into the local cuisines of many nations. Ranging from Chinese cooking pasta, in the forms of spaghetti and macaroni, Japanese bolognese, and Neapolitan, Greece considers hilopittes as the finest form of pasta, and it is now one of the most common dishes. As part of the Southern cone and most of Brazil, locally adopted names like gnocchi, raviolis, tallarines are widespread.

The categorization of pasta is also done on the basis of shapes and sizes. These are diversified into long and medium-length pasta which are made by extrusion, rolling, and cutting. Some of these are spaghetti, vermicelli, ziti, fedelini etc. The flat and ribbon-cut pasta is often rolled flat and then cut either manually or mechanically. These include fettuccine, lasagna, linguine, mafalde, rombi, stringozzi etc. The shortcut extruded pasta includes anelli, chifferi, fusilli, mezze penne, penne, etc. The small types of pasta usually used in soups are Alfabeto, Corallini, egg barley, Farfalline, pastina, stelle, etc. The name ravioli is the common term collectively used as a generic description for pasta with filling. Some examples of this type of pasta are lumache, tortelli, ravioli, tufoli, caramelle, agnolotti.

Italy produces approximately 1,432,990 tonnes of pasta each year and exports 1.7 million tonnes a year, making it the largest consumer of pasta in the world. The United States, being amongst the top 10 consumers and producers of pasta, is also the founder of the oldest pasta trade associations in the world. The National Pasta Association is a trade association of professionals in the United States, which focus on increasing the consumption of pasta by being the center of knowledge and promoting sound public policy to the consumer, the industry, and the regulatory bodies.

Below lying table mentions countries where pasta consumption is highest:

Country Consumption 2013 (kg per capita)
Italy 25.3
Tunisia 16.0
Venezuela 12.2
Greece 11.5
Switzerland 9.2
United States 8.8
Iran 8.5
Chile 8.4
Argentina 8.3
Peru 8.2
France 8.1
Germany 8.0
Russia 8.0
Uruguay 7.5
Croatia 7.5
Sweden 7.0
Turkey 6.8
Portugal 6.7
Canada 6.5
Hungary 6.4
Iran 6.2
Brazil 6.0
Czech Republic 6.0
Austria 5.6
Belgium – Luxembourg 5.4
Estonia 5.3
Spain 5.3
Poland 5.2
Slovakia 5.0
Slovenia 4.9
Bolivia 4.8
Netherlands 4.4
Lithuania 4.4
Latvia 4.1
Dominican Republic 4.0
Australia 4.0
Israel 4.0
Ecuador 3.9
Panama 3.8
Costa Rica 3.8
Finland 3.2
Mexico 3.2
Guatemala 3.0
Colombia 2.7
Romania 2.7
United Kingdom 2.5
Denmark 2.0
Libya 2.0
South Africa 1.9
Japan 1.7
Egypt 1.2
Ireland 1.0
El Salvador 1.0

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