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Editor’s Notes

Hello, this is Pocket Concierge.
Everyone loves pasta. This is a proven fact everywhere you go.
In Japan, pasta used to referred to as spaghetti, but the word “pasta” is considered now to be a more fashionable term.

Contents

1. “Pasta” is a Genre of a Type of Food

2. The Spaghetti You have Been Eating Was…?

3. Long Pasta That Does not Look like Noodles

4. Laws about Spaghetti in Italy

1. “Pasta” is a Genre of a Type of Food

Pasta is a general term referring to food made by kneading flour. Spaghetti, penne, macaroni, and even lasagna and gnocchi are all part of the pasta family. There is actually over 100 kinds of pasta if you count ones eaten in different regions, which is quite surprising.
Today, we will show you some of the representative pasta categories as “long pasta.”

S(esse) | Pocket Concierge

2. The Spaghetti You have Been Eating Was…?

Just about 20 years ago, spaghetti was the only kind of pasta available in Japan. Even if you knew about it, it was limited to macaroni baked as a macaroni gratin. Most dishes were something called napolitan (stir fried ketchup-flavored spaghetti) or spaghetti meat sauce. Restaurants serving other kind of pasta were popular, seen as a stylish restaurant. The name, “pasta” gradually generally used in Japan without us realizing about it.
“Spaghetti,” the king of pasta in Japan is something most people believe what they are eating all the time. However, most people are wrong about it.
There is a high chance that the pasta most people call “spaghetti” in Japan is actually something called “spaghettini.” “Spaghetti” is defined as a round-shaped section about 1.8mm – 1.9mm, which is quite thick.
In contrast, the thickness of “spaghettini” is 1.6mm – 1.7mm and is a thinner noodle than spaghetti. Most of the pasta that can be easily found at Japanese supermarkets probably fall in this category.
Interested in an even thinner pasta? “Fedelini” is 1.4mm – 1.5mm. For your information, this is the standard thickness of a ramen noodle. Go even thinner, and you will get “capellini” which is 1.3mm – 1.4mm. The standard thickness of Japanese buckwheat noodles, soba is 1.3mm – 1.4mm, so capellini is close to that. In contrast, spaghettini is about 2mm, which is quite thick even if you compare it to ramen noodles.

ANTEPRIMA CASA CUCINA | Pocket Concierge

3. Long Pasta That Does not Look like Noodles

Now let’s look at long pasta that do not have have the shape of standard noodles. Linguine is a pasta with an oval-shaped cross section. The diameter is about 3mm and is quite thick. It is kind a in between an round-shaped and a flat noodle. “Fettuccine” is a flat pasta with a width of about 7mm – 8mm. We now start referring to the width of the pasta instead of the diameter.
Long pasta is the last kind of pasta we are introducing here. It does not take on the shape of a standard noodle. “Lasagna” is one of the most famous ones in this category. Lasagna is made by layering sauce and pasta. See the pasta layer is a “large, flat noodle,” which might make more sense that it belongs to the long pasta family.

Ristorante Drammatico | Pocket Concierge

4. Laws about Spaghetti in Italy

Here is a final trivia for you. Did you know that the semolina in durum wheat (the main ingredient of spaghetti and long pasta) is specified in Italy by law? Pasta is such an important food, to the point the entire country protects the image of the ingredient.
Durum wheat is a type of wheat. It differs from the wheat used for tempura and udon in Japan. It contains lots of gluten and the seed is hard. Semolina is a type of graining the flour. If we largely classify it, coarse graining belongs to this category. The type of flour and the graining method is strictly defined. Only pasta that meets this definition can be called “spaghetti ” in Italy.

RINGRAZIARE Koji Morita | Pocket Concierge

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