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The humble ravioli has been a part of traditional Italian cuisine for centuries. It's also popular in the United States, where many people associate it with the canned varieties found at the grocery store. But there's a lot more to this pasta dish than meets the eye. Here are some little known facts about ravioli:
Ravioli has been around at least since the 14th century: Ravioli is mentioned in some documents and letters dating back to the 1300s. And although most of these documents are, of course, from Italy, one Anglo-Norman manuscript shows that England knew about ravioli back then, too! Ravioli has also been popular in Rome for many centuries, where it was served to the papal conclave.
Different types of ravioli have different fillings: Traditionally, the filling depends on where the ravioli is prepared. Different parts of Italy use different fillings for their ravioli. For example, grated lemon rind is used as a filling in Sardinia.
Toasted ravioli is popular in St. Louis, Missouri: It's true - the ravioli is breaded and deep-fried! This type of ravioli probably originated in Sicily but didn't become particularly popular until it was exported to the Italian community in St. Louis. Today it can be found on many menus in the St. Louis area.
Canned ravioli was first used by the Italian Army in World War I: The practicality and long shelf life of canned ravioli made it the perfect type of rations during the war. It was later popularized in many countries by the many familiar companies that you see selling canned ravioli today.
Ravioli come in different shapes: Most people think of the traditional square shape when they think of ravioli, but it is also available in other shapes. Half-moon shaped ravioli is called mezzelune, which means, you guessed it: Half moon.
Similar dishes exist in several other cultures: You can find dishes similar to ravioli in China, India, and the Middle East. Ravioli is also similar to a Jewish dumpling called kreplach. Miniature ravioli, called "ravioles", are a specialty in some regions of France. No matter where you go, the world loves ravioli.
To learn more, contact an Italian restaurant like Borrelli's.
With a rich history to go with its rich flavor, ravioli is a delicious dish worth eating again and again. So why not give it a shot the next time you visit your favorite Italian restaurant? You might just end up falling in love with ravioli all over again.Share