It’s National Noodle Day. Did you know we’ve been making and eating noodles for at least 4,000 years?
In 2005, someone found a pile of noodles in an overturned bowl in China, buried under 10 feet of dirt. So they were the first to make noodles, not the Italians.
Italy has a proud noodle tradition of its own though. So someone polled 1,000 Italians to find the top things you might be doing wrong with pasta.
1. Ketchup on pasta. (???) 89% of Italians say it’s unacceptable. But one in six Americans say go for it.
2. Cutting pasta with a knife. 69% of Italians say no, never do that.
3. When you put the pasta in cold water, then boil it. 81% think it’s unacceptable. You have to boil it first, then put the pasta in.
4. Boiling it in plain water without salting it. Only 53% of Italians say you have to salt the water. 36% say not necessary, and 11% don’t know or care.
5. Putting oil in the water. Basically a tie. 44% say it’s fine, and 43% say it’s not. Most experts say don’t though. It makes the pasta too slippery, and the sauce can’t cling to it.
6. Breaking dry spaghetti in half, so it fits in the pot. Another tie. 47% of Italians say unacceptable, 46% say fine, and the rest don’t have an opinion.
7. Having pasta as a side dish. 72% say no, it’s always the main dish. But 79% of Americans think a side of pasta is okay.
8. Rinsing pasta after you cook it. 58% of Italians say you shouldn’t do it.
9. When you put the pasta on your plate, then sauce on top of it. 44% say it’s fine. But 48% say no, you should always mix the sauce in before you serve it.
10. Garlic bread with pasta. 48% of Italians say unacceptable. That’s partly because the kind we eat is made with a French baguette, not ciabatta bread.
Here’s one you can do though: 75% of Italians say it’s okay to pair spaghetti with meatballs. Only 4% of people disagree with that.
(Here are a few bonus pizza stats: 51% of Italians say eating it with a fork and knife is fine, 93% agree pizza for lunch is okay, but just 14% think pineapple belongs on pizza. That’s compared to 55% of North Americans.)