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Wednesday 21st August 2019

Pasta is global favourite

16th June 2011

A global survey has put pasta at the top of the list of the world’s favourite food.


In Britain, spaghetti bolognese has become a popular meal as UK sales of dry and fresh pasta have soared in the last quarter of a century.

Consumer research experts Mintel say retail sales amounted to £53m in 1987 but had rocketed to £282m in 2009 and when pasta-based ready meals are included that value rises to £800m.

The survey by the charity Oxfam put pasta ahead of meat, rice and pizza in popularity.

Meanwhile, figures from the International Pasta Organisation show Venezuela is the largest consumer of pasta, after Italy. Tunisia, Chile and Peru also feature in the top 10, while Mexicans, Argentineans and Bolivians all eat more pasta than the British.

Jim Winship, from the UK-based Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association, said pasta has become so popular because it is cheap, versatile and convenient.

“You can create lots of different dishes with it. It tastes good and it's filling. It also has a long shelf life, so you can keep it in the larder until you need to put a meal together,” he said.

Pasta is also easy to mass produce and transport.

Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University London, says technological advances in the 19th Century allowed pasta to be produced on a big scale.

Italian restaurateur Antonio Carluccio said most pasta is spaghetti outside of Italy but there are actually 600 different types and shapes and each region cooks it differently.


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