“macaroni spread out to dry”
“macaroni spread out to dry”
So much has been read, written and said about pasta, many describe its origins and explain its history. How and when it was invented, whether its name is of Latin origin or not: we will not be answering these questions. We, at Liguori, prefer to talk about our pasta, Gragnano and its ancient tradition.
You only have to take a quick look at the past to understand that Pastificio Liguori and the splendid Valley of the flour mills form one fascinating history; events and stories that intertwine like two strands of homemade pasta, which confuse you when you look at them because you don’t know where one begins and the other ends, basically, they are one.
Wheat has been milled in the Gragnano area since Roman times. Think of windmills being driven by the flow of the water of the Vernotico river, ready to mill the wheat arriving by sea from the Roman colonies. This scenario enlivened the territory for a certain period.
A long time after, there was the need for food supplies and so began the production of dry pasta. On 16 August 1795, Don Gaetano Liguori obtained the licence from the Town Council to “make and sell macaroni of good quality and one destiny.”
Since then, the work handed down, the desire, and also the favourable and propitious circumstances brought Don Gaetano to the present day with the Pasificio Liguori and its ancient tradition. In 1820, one of Don Gaetano’s descendants, Vincenzo Liguori, founded the present pasta factory. Of course, having a pasta factory in those days was not like today. It meant influencing the constraints of new buildings so that they did not block the light from the reeds on which the spaghetti was dried, it meant having “aizacanne” (workers who laid out the reeds) ready to use whips to protect the pasta from the passage of animals headed out to pasture. In those days being a master pasta maker meant knowing the winds, being able to distinguish the sirocco from the mistral, and understanding their influence on the drying process.
Today we consider ourselves custodians of this art because although we no longer have to worry about the wind, sun and humidity, there are many other aspects to worry about in order to make a product that is a valid testimony of this century-long tradition.
Of course, we don’t need to remind you that we use the best mixtures of Italian durum wheat, water from our valleys, traditional bronze dies, because you already know this. We want our pasta to have the same perfume as the water and wheat that invaded the streets of Don Gaetano over two hundred years ago.
The same perfume we breathe in and smell every morning as we enter the Pastificio and get to work, with the knowledge that the pasta packet you receive not only contains spaghetti, rigatoni, paccheri or fusilli, but also the essence of each and every one of those who have contributed to keeping our history alive. It also contains the wisdom of master pasta makers of long ago handed down to those of today, and the dedication of those who once wrapped the pasta in paper with red bows and of those who today package it with the same care and commitment.
Our history is all here, in these few lines. There is a perfume evoking Gragnano, the perfume of the wheat being kneaded, the same perfume we smell in our pasta factory. The image that best sums up Gragnano is the one of spaghetti hung out to dry, the same that inspired our logo. One word is synonymous with the history of Gragnano, and it is LIGUORI.
And what is the flavour of Gragnano? We will leave that up to you to find out when you eat a plate of Liguori pasta, if you have not already done so.