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Italy and the shape of pasta
Much more variety than you may know of
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Pasta takes many shapes, and if you've been to Italy you'd have noticed how varied it can be. We have all likely tried the most popular shapes (the ones you can find in a common supermarket outside of Italy), but there’s so many more.
For this card I've used data from this Wikipedia page (in Italian) to count the pasta shapes per Italian region, keeping track of the format, that is, whether it was long (think spaghetti), short (think penne) or filled pasta (think ravioli).
The card dates back from a couple of years ago, so the data on Wikipedia might have changed since then.
The data card
The North seems to excel in pretty much all three formats while the South is the area where you can find very many short shapes. I think (don’t quote me on this) Campania is the region which overall produces the highest variety.
I think I am sure the number of shapes represented in the card is a sensible underestimate of the real count.
Stuff to go with this
I was trying to think what to recommend for this topic, and I found myself to be moderately clueless. However, after a very skilful Google search that required asking for a show on pasta, I have found this show called Shape of Pasta. It’s on Roku, I don’t have a subscription so I’ve not watched it, but it seems enjoyable and hopefully not of the boring “oh-Italy-is-so-pretty” stereotypical type:
It has a Tomatometer of 80%, so pretty good and the guy is a real chef. It’s right on topic with our data here so I’d watch it if I were you and had some hours to kill.
From the trailer, it seems like it makes our point very clear: the number of different shapes of pasta is incredibly high, and they’re not all known even within the country, some may be extremely local to a town.
Enjoy (with some good wine and a great pasta dish of course)!
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