History of pasta
As legend has it, the pasta was invented by the Greek god of fire, Hephaestus (in Roman mythology - Vulcan). Probably some types of pasta were already used by the Etruscans, but there is no strong evidence. Pasta was known to both the ancient Greeks and Romans. Wide noodles, called by the Greeks "laganon" were scorched on hot stones or in ovens (a similar process is used today for the production of pizza). There is also a theory that pasta was invented in Persia and therefrom moved east to China and west by the Arabs to Europe. The Arabs were the ones who came up with a concept of drying pasta to allow securing adequate supplies of food for long trips across the desert. Certainly, it was the Arabs who introduced the tradition of eating pasta to Sicily, where in the twelfth century they opened first pasta manufactures. The invention of machines to combine flour with water reduced the costs and increased productivity. Thanks to this, cheap and easily accessible pasta has become part of the daily diet of Italians. In 1740 the first pasta factory was opened in Venice, complete with a metal press, driven by forces of several young boys. Mid-nineteenth century Naples saw the launch of industrial production of pasta. Soon, pasta started being exported America, where many Italians had emigrated. By the late nineteenth century factories offered for as many as 150-200 different shapes of pasta. Rapid development of the pasta industry occurred at the turn of the centuries. In 1917 the first system for continuous production of pasta was patented, and in 1933 the first continuous, fully automated pasta press was introduced. Nowadays pasta is produced in Europe, Australia and the Americas, but only in Italy will one find the greatest diversity of this delicacy.