It is traditionally a staple of Italian cuisine but in modern cookery is used across the globe. Now the popularity of pasta has been confirmed in a survey which places it as the world’s favourite food ahead of meat, rice and pizza.
A global survey by Oxfam saw pasta narrowly top the list thanks to its growing popularity in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe. Oxfam said the survey of eating habits in 17 countries shows how Western diets have spread across the world.
Although national dishes are still popular - such as paella in Spain and schnitzel in Germany - pizza and pasta are now the favourite foods of many, with more than half of the countries (nine out of 17) listing one or both in their top three foods.
But as a food with around 600 different varieties including popular exports like penne and tagliatelle, pasta reigns supreme thanks to its versatility and specialities.
Pasta ranked as the second most popular food in the UK, behind steak and ahead of chicken. Curry, thought by many to be one of the most popular cuisines in Britain, ranked fourth.
The survey also highlighted the worldwide popularity for Asian food - Chinese was the second-most popular in Mexico while sushi made the top ten in five countries including the USA and South Africa.
There were some surprising results as well, with sweet-toothed Australia naming chocolate as its favourite food.
And despite its worldwide dominance in the fast food market for decades, McDonald’s ranked a lowly 113 in the list. Its rival KFC did not fare much better, coming in at 107.
The opinion poll also revealed that the cost of food is a worldwide worry with two thirds saying it is one of their top food concerns. More than half of the people questioned globally (54 per cent) said they are not eating the same food they did two years ago, with two fifths (39 per cent) of those saying it was because food was becoming more expensive.
The news comes despite debate as to whether pasta is good for you at all, with conflicting diet advice suggesting it can help you both lose weight or pile on the pounds.
Pasta is widely thought to have originated from Arab invaders who conquered Sicily in the eight century fed by slow-release carbohydrates. The food they ate which originated from dried noodle was made from durum wheat - the staple ingredient which must now be used in all dried pasta by Italian law.
WORLD’S POPULAR FOODS
1. Pasta 意大利面
2. Meat 肉类
3. Rice 米饭
4. Pizza 披萨
5. Chicken 鸡肉
6. Fish and seafood 鱼和海产品
7. Vegetables 蔬菜
8. Chinese food 中国菜
9. Italian food 意大利菜
10. Mexican food 墨西哥菜