Different regions around Italy are known for their food and wine. Naples is the home of authentic pizza, while osso buco hails from Milan. Pasta reigns supreme as a national dish, of course, which means that different regions are always competing for the best version of the staple food. The small town of Gragnano, however, stands out above the rest as the origin of the best pasta in the world. It’s an impressive claim, and not unfounded. Keep reading to learn more.
The Town of Gragnano
The hilltop village is nestled between Monti Lattari and the Amalfi Coast in the Campania region. It took quickly to the production of pasta, a food that has been made in Italy for thousands of years, and soon became fairly well known for it. Unfortunately, a few natural disasters struck, including famines, diseases, and droughts, limiting the ability to keep producing the pasta. In the 1700s, however, the region got back on its feet and Pasta di Gragnano was being made once again, setting itself in Italian cuisine as an indispensable regional delicacy.
Throughout the rest of the century, the city of Gragnano developed several factories for making pasta. The first direct railroad line to Napoli in 1885 further solidified the city’s significance as a producer of pasta. Further advancements in technology and transportation have allowed Gragnano pasta to be spread throughout the world.
What Makes Gragnano Pasta Amazing
From start to finish, the Gragnano pasta rises above other versions as superior in both ingredient and process. Firstly, the pasta is made mostly of durum wheat, like most other kinds of pasta. The distinction arises, however, is where the wheat is grown. Gragnano’s unique positioning against Monte Lattari provides it with a unique mixture of wind, humidity, and sun, a combination that allows the wheat to thrive with a higher quality than wheat grown in other areas.
Next, the process of creating the pasta has been painstakingly curated and practiced for hundreds of years. The process must abide by very high and rigorous standards that have been improved over time. Also, the EU has recently declared that pasta under the name “Pasta di Gragnano” must be produced in the specified region. This is to prevent copycats from claiming the title without the proper process and ingredients to back it up.
But what makes the past truly amazing is how it is processed after the dough is made. The dough is extruded through forms made of bronze, which allows it to take its intended shape. Then, the pasta is set to dry slowly in the low temperatures of the mountainous region.
If you ask an Italian where the best pasta comes from, there’s no doubt that they will say Gragnano. With such an intense and careful production process, it’s clear that the pasta will stand out above the rest. To try some of the finest pasta dishes locally, make a reservation at Trattoria Il Panino restaurant.