October 1, 2009

North Dakota celebrates Pasta Month

North Dakota celebrates Pasta Month
News Release
North Dakota is the leading producer of durum in the nation, on average producing nearly 60 percent of the U.S. crop. With that kind of statistic it is only fitting that we celebrate National Pasta Month in October, World Pasta Day on Oct. 26 and invite consumers to join the North Dakota Wheat Commission in honoring the state’s durum producers and pasta industry during Pasta Lovers’ Week on Oct. 25-31.
Whenever you sit down to a tasty pasta dish, there is a good chance that it got its start on a field in North Dakota. North Dakota farmers produce enough durum each year to make 13.7 billion servings of spaghetti. About two-thirds of the durum grown here is used in the U.S., while the other one-third is exported to more than 25 countries. This year the U.S. is projected to export 30 million bushels of durum with Italy the largest destination most years. Other key buyers of U.S. durum include Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia, Costa Rica and Venezuela. North Dakota durum producers truly do help feed the world with our durum found on many pasta plates around the world. In parts of North Africa durum is the desired wheat of choice for making couscous, a rice-like coarse ground product which is the staple in daily meals.
Durum is used to make pasta because it is the hardest of all wheat classes. When milled properly, the heart of the kernel grinds into granular semolina rather than powdery flour. Durum’s high gluten content and yellow endosperm gives pasta its cooking consistency, texture, pleasant flavor and natural golden color which are desired for high quality pasta products.

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