Vita Gazette

News from Italy

Today is Carbonara day!

The Carbonara, one of the symbolic dishes of Roman cuisine, is celebrated every year as a day of pasta alla carbonara in Italy and around the world on April 6. And 90 per cent of us Italians consume a plate of Carbonara today. With the addition of our red wine and our friends who make up our large family …

So why this date? It must have coincided with a calendar in which there was talk of this type of pasta, very popular and consumed at any time of the year! For the first time on April 6, 2017, the famous Carbonara Day was celebrated all over the world by the Unione Italiana Food and International Pasta Organization (IPO). So pasta alla carbonara – or better still spaghetti …

Why Carbonara?

The origins of the name are uncertain: There are many different hypotheses about it. the most widespread hypothesis is that it is due to the charcoal burners who, in the nineteenth century, worked in the Apennines to transform wood into charcoal, and during the breaks ate a meal of cheese, eggs, bacon and fat (or lard).

According to another hypothesis, however, the name of the famous sauce is due to a Roman innkeeper who in the 40s of the last century would have baptized it in honour of his old job as a carbonara or because the inspiration came to him while he was in Carbonia, Sardinia, before moving to Rome.

There are also those who are uncomfortable with the carbonara, whose representatives were hosted in the villa of a noblewoman from Polesine who would have invented the recipe, and those who, more simply, argue it is due to the ground black pepper, which recalls the black of coal.

The story of the birth of the dish

Then there is an interesting story about the birth of the dish, according to which its creation should be to Renato Gualandi, chef of Bolognese origin recognized today as the father of carbonara, who in 1944 was hired to prepare lunch on the occasion of the meeting between British and American armies in Riccione. According to Gualandi, the Americans had wonderful bacon powders, custard, cheese and egg yolk. Gualandi continues: “I put everything together and served this pasta for dinner to the generals and to the rains. I decided to add black pepper to the son, which gives it an excellent flavour. “

The carbonara as we cook it today was born in 1960, with the publication of the recipe book “La grande Cucina” by Luigi Carnacina. The preparation involved the presence of guanciale (instead of pancetta) and plenty of creams: it was only in the 90s of the last century that ingredients such as garlic, onion, parsley, chilli and cream were eliminated, allowing the affirmation of the recipe recognized today. as “correct”: egg yolk, pecorino cheese, bacon and black pepper.

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