Dietribes: Spaghetti Junction


"¢ According to an extensive article on the History of Pasta from the The Atlantic, "the first clear Western reference to boiled noodles is in the Jerusalem Talmud of the fifth century A.D., written in Aramaic. Although, no one disputes that the Chinese have made pasta from many more kinds of flour than Europeans have, since at least 1100 B.C." Of course, spaghetti enjoys such strong ties to Italy that some exported films from the '60s were even called Spaghetti Westerns. Spaghetti has evolved into many things, such as SpaghettiO's, as well as other incarnations ...

"¢ Spaghetti can be tricky to get from plate to mouth, so now there's an invention (which seems to work like an electric toothbrush for spaghetti) to help with twirling the noodles on your fork. But isn't the real trick getting the noodles to stay on?

"¢Â Everyone loves spaghetti. Even ... cats? A random picture of a cat eating spaghetti was shown to cover up a bleeped segment on the show Mike and Juliet during a discussion on the dangers of binge drinking. And it's amazing.

"¢ One of the first instances of television being in on an April Fool's Joke might be in 1957, when the BBC convinced viewers that spaghetti grew on trees ...

"¢Â If you've ever sung "On Top of Spaghetti" (or had it stuck in your head like I do right now), you can thank songwriter Tom Glazer, who wrote what I can definitely say is the most tragically beautiful song made about noodles.

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"¢ Perhaps indulge in your pasta on one of Pablo Reinoso's amazing spaghetti benches.

"¢ For more noodles in the every day, admire your local Spaghetti Junction highway (hopefully not while you're sitting on it in traffic). It might look something like this.

"¢ What's a Dietribe without mention of an eating contest? The record for consuming spaghetti amounted to 13.5 lbs of the stuff in 10 minutes, on September 1, 2008, courtesy of Bob Shoudt's stomach at the Skyline Chili Spaghetti Challenge.

What are some of your favorite ways to prepare pasta? I'm a fan of the whole wheat or spinach varieties myself. Anybody tried spaghetti squash?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.