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    Cooking Books -> Pasta


    Serventi, Silvano
    Sabban, Francoise
    Shugaar, Antony (Translator)

    Columbia University Press
    ISBN: 0231124422

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    Book Description
    From Publishers Weekly
    The latest entry in Columbia's series, Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History, is stuffed as tight as cannelloni with facts, numbers and quotes. If at times it is a little dry-through no fault of a very competent translation-it still stands as one of the most thorough histories to date of this beloved food. From the stuffed pastas of the Middle Ages (known as tortelli, because they were considered bite-sized cakes) to the artisan-produced pastas that made a comeback in Italy in the 1990s, Serventi and Sabban touch all the necessary bases and then some. A section on pasta in China begins with a lengthy "Ode to Bing" (noodles) by the scholar Shu Xi (264?-304?) and leads up through the Ming Dynasty, which the authors describe as the peak of pasta production in China, to modern-day ramen noodles, invented in Japan in 1958. The treatment of pasta development in Italy is even more complete and includes overviews of early pasta-making equipment and the role of women in its manufacture. The chapter "Pasta Without Borders," about the spread of pasta from Italy to the rest of the world (laying to rest Marco Polo myth), is an excellent study not only of pasta but of the way a single product can mutate and influence various economies over time. Perhaps too encyclopedic to be taken in at a single sitting, this is no doubt the exhaustive new authority on its subject
    Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    From Booklist
    In the last 50 years, pasta has risen from ethnic oddity to ubiquity. A bowl of well-sauced spaghetti is both dinner and comfort food. Although pasta is virtually synonymous with Italy, modern historians suspect pasta originated in China and came very early to the Mediterranean basin, thanks in part to Arab merchants. Once it reached up the Italian peninsula, pasta developed in a wholly different culinary direction than in the East. By the fifth century, Italian cooks were already producing a... read more

    Book Description
    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.

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