Millions of people think it’s the basis of the ultimate comfort food. Just imagine that creamy macaroni and cheese or spaghetti. Pasta is not only something many people find comforting, but one look at the facts and it’s easy to see that Americans love their pasta. No matter how it’s prepared it continues to rank as a frequently consumed food for people of all ages.
“What’s not to love about pasta? Even those who try to cut it out of their diet end up coming back around, it’s just that good,” explains Ryan Fichter, the executive chef at Rialto, a new Italian restaurant in Georgetown. “In addition to being tasty, pasta is also affordable, versatile, and simple to work with. Even those with limited culinary experience can create a great meal using pasta as the bases.”
Here are 5 interesting facts, according to the National Pasta Association, for all pasta lovers:
1. Serve up health. While there are some people who shy away from pasta believing that it is unhealthy, others are learning that it can be a part of a healthy diet. Pasta can be used as the basis of a healthy dish that is loaded with vegetables, healthy sauce, and even lean meats. Whole wheat pasta can also be a good source of fiber. Used as the basis in dish with other healthy ingredients, such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, and/or vegetables, it can become a healthy dinner option for the whole family.
2. It’s historical. Although pasta history is believed to date back to the times of Marco Polo, and originated from the noodles eaten in Asia, it was in 1740 that the first pasta factory was opened in Venice. Pasta has a lengthy history that eventually reached American shores and in 1914, America was the largest importer of it at the time.
3. Per person. In America, the average person consumes around 20 pounds of pasta each year. It ranks as the 6th highest per capita food consumed in the country. In fact, Americans consume 24 percent of the world’s pasta.
4. Pasta production. While America imported the most pasta at one time, and still imports a lot, it now ranks second for pasta production in the world. Each year the country produces around 4.4 billion pounds of pasta.
5. Affordability. On average, the average price paid in the country per pound of pasta is only $1.45, making it an affordable meal.
“We in America love our pasta and once you see the facts it makes it all so clear,” adds Chef Fichter. “Think about your top favorite dishes to eat. There is a good chance that pasta is one of them, if not more. It’s been around a long time and is here to stay and continue to bring comfort to many.”
Rialto, a new restaurant located at 2915 M Street NW, offers gift cards. They are located in an historic building the heart of Georgetown. The restaurant offers world-class Italian food and an upscale atmosphere. The décor is unique, custom made, and most of the items have been imported from Europe. The restaurant features partially open kitchens, fresh pasta, imported specialty ingredients, fresh seafood, and a cheese counter. The menu offers a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, served in both family style and piattini style (small dishes) to encourage sharing. To learn more, visit www.RialtoDC.com.