January 4: National Spaghetti Day

Hello, friends. If you're reading this in 2016, you probably went back to work after an extended holiday today. I'm sorry. Maybe the tremendously wonderful fact that today is National Spaghetti Day will brighten your day and give you something to look forward to for dinner? 

Listen, in general I don't write about savory food on this site, but in the name of the holiday, allow me to entertain you for a few minutes, with 8 tasty bits of info and trivia about the starchy stuff. 

1. What is spaghetti?

Spaghetti is a type of pasta which is characterized by its shape: long, cylindrical, solid strings. If you'd never seen spaghetti noodles before, I'd say they're sort of like shoelace licorice, but in pasta form. If you'd never seen shoelace licorice, I would need to have a moment then I'd invite you to the closest grocery store for an education. 

Personally, I like Eatocracy's definition: "Spaghetti is a thin, round-shaped pasta from Italy that the rest of the world can’t seem to get enough of."

2. What's with the funny name?

According to the dictionary, spaghetti is "the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, a diminutive of spago, meaning "thin string" or "twine". " I feel satisfied with that, don't you?

Photo licensed via Creative Commons by Flickr member Sira Harchana

3. Marco Polo brought pasta from China to Italy...NOT. 

According to The Atlantic, pasta has been kicking it in Italy since 1100 BC (though this story seems to have a few holes, the general gist is: pasta is OLD and has a long story in Italy). I think they win!

4. You can study spaghetti in a museum.

In Italy, there is a Pasta Museum. Of course there is! This is more interesting than any museum I ever went on a class trip to, how about you?

5. Pasta is a religion.

At least in Georgia, that is. One self-proclaimed Georgia "pastafarian" defended his right to wear a colander in his driver's license photo on account of religious belief. Believe it. 

6. Spaghetti can be dessert, too.

Think spaghetti is only for dinner? Think again. Emeril Lagasse makes chocolate spaghetti! Or, a version such as this savory-LOOKING mango "spaghetti" would be a fun trompe-l'oeil to serve.

7. Think your bowl is big? 

As I found out here, The world record for the largest bowl of spaghetti was set in 2010, when a Buca di Beppo restaurant filled a swimming pool with more than 13,780 pounds (6,251 kg) of pasta" 

8. You can make your own spaghetti.

Seriously, you guys. You can make your own spaghetti. Well, technically this version I made sans pasta attachment is more like fettucine, and it does include egg, but it should act as proof that homemade pasta noodles are possible in your own home. This post offers a lot more info.

Do you like spaghetti?