The Story Of Macaroni

Although various studies have been conducted in order to find the society that found and cooked the pasta first from past to present, the society that cooked the pasta "FIRST" could not be reached yet. Today documents in the Pasta Museum in Rome also can not give enough information about exactly where paste comes from.

The records shows that Marco Polo brought along spaghetti and information about its recipe on the way to Italy after visiting China in 1292. However, the old records indicate that despite not being similar to today's form the pasta was cooked and consumed in Ancient Greek and Rome culture. Examining the archaeological excavations and historical findings, writings and sources the pasta was cooked and consumed by Ancient Greeks and Romans, Chinese and Arabs. Observing the historical records, it is known that Chinese started pasta production from Orzo before Christian era. Likewise, considering the historical inscriptions belonging to B.C. 5 found in Syria it is seen that Arabs produced and consumed Orzo in that period as well. When we look at the Greek and Roman writings, a cook book named "De re coquinaria” written by Marcus Gavius Apicius, gourmet of that period in B.C. 1, mentioned "lagana" (It is thought to be lasagna).

Looking at the historical records of later period, it is seen that Arabs dried the prepared paste by rolling to sticks in the sun and stored that paste. Similarly, it is known that the dried paste in the Arabian peninsula, which are considered to be noodle and pasta, were traded in the 10th century.

Pasta continued to be produced and consumed in namely Italy, Arabian Peninsula and China until the 20th century. Pasta became more favorite and continued to be consumed over time because its production was easy, had low cost and it could be prepared and flavored in different forms. With advanced technology, the production of pasta began to be less expensive and of better quality.  The pasta which was mixed by feet since the semolina paste obtained by mixing semolina with water was hard in the beginning, started to be knead by means of machinery as of 17th century. Again the historical records shows that King of Naples Ferdinando II. gave instructions to an engineer for this work  and engineer named Cesare Spadaccini invented the first pasta machine.

In the 20th, the Italians developing the pasta production in technological terms and producing the best quality pasta began to export it. Italy exporting over 70 thousand tons of pasta in 1913 realized one of the largest export figures in that period. Finally, continuous and fully automatic pasta machine that performs the production of pasta in the present day was invented from two engineers named Mario and Giuseppe Braibanti from Parma in 1933.

In our country, the first pasta factory was founded under the name of "Turkish Pasta Factory" by  Hasan Tahsin Bey in İzmir in 1922. Only 10 people worked at the factory and it had the daily production capacity of 850 kg with "hand-press" method. The pasta adventure of Turkey beginning with this small factory, has reached to enormous proportions today. The fact that durum wheat used in pasta production is abundantly cultivated in our country has taken the initiative that Turkey has considerably developed and advanced in terms of pasta.

According to data of Pasta Industrialists Association of Turkey which was published in 2010; 

  • Turkey shares the 5th rank with USA in the ranking of countries that produce the most Durum wheat around the world.
  • The pasta production was realized as 741 thousand tons in our country in 2011. With this production figure our country ranks 5th in the ranking of countries that produce most pasta. 

Well, how does the pasta which is indispensable for our eating habits and children, is produced?

All kinds of pasta are produced from "Durum wheat" known as pasta wheat. Pasta production takes place in 5 basic steps.

1. Cleaning and Annealing:

The physical structure of the wheat kernel should be appropriate for grinding before converting the durum wheat into semolina. Durum wheat delivered to factory are first passed through a cleaning step against physical contamination. After the cleaning step annealing process is applied so that the wheat is easily converted into semolina. In the annealing process, wheat is kept in water at a certain temperature and it is softened. After this process, the water applied to wheat grain is removed the wheat. The purpose of annealing process is to ensure that the amount and distribution of moisture within each wheat grain is equal.

2. Grinding and Sieving:

A properly annealed durum wheat is converted into semolina by being grinded in the mills. By-products such as bran, semolina grits occurring during the grinding process are removed from the semolina by sieving process. At the end of grinding and sieving process golden yellow semolina is obtained.

3. Kneading and Molding:

Semolina obtained in the previous steps is mixed with water and kneaded in large mixers until a smooth paste texture is obtained. If flavored pasta varieties are produced various spices and vegetables are added or if enriched pasta a varieties are produced vitamins are added to paste at this step. The paste kneaded at sufficient amount and reaching a consistency is passed through a pressurized forming machine and the pasta is obtained at desired form.

4. Drying and Conditioning:

Wet paste leaving the processes of kneading and shaping are left for drying to retain their shape. Drying process is applied in two steps as preliminary drying and final drying. In the preliminary drying process it is intended to dry the outer surfaces of the pasta. This drying step preventing the formation of microorganisms also gains brightness to pasta grain. All of the pasta grains are not dried in preliminary drying process. Because it is desired to distribute the moisture existing at the inner part of pasta grains homogenously within the grain at conditioning step some moisture is allowed at the inner parts. After the pre-drying and conditioning steps pasta grains are prepared for consumption through final drying process.

5. Cooling and Packaging:

Cooling process is applied to pasta grains finishing the final drying process. The cooled pasta grains are then packed at the desired weights.