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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have wondered about traditional foods that don't use soaking methods. Like pasta from Italy and CousCous of Middle Eastern Cuisine. Are they unhealthy flukes, were they prepared very differently in the past, or are they acceptable in small quantities (Like, the Italians loved their pasta but didn't have it every meal like some SAD diets)?<br><br>
Also, regarding pasta, is high quality semolina not better for you than cheaper, American varieties using white flour?
 

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Well, it's arguable that pasta is not "traditional" in the sense that we usually mean. Italy and the middle east were very cosmopolitan places, their populations could afford to eat luxuriously, and did so, for many many years. They used a lot of sugar in an era when most people rarely saw any sugar. They refined their flour very, very early. Just because they were eating it 400 years ago doesn't mean it was a primitive type food. I don't know the history of couscous, but I do know that the Italians started eating pasta around the 14th century, give or take.
 

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According to this website, pasta is older than the 14th century in Italy (for instance, there's a reference to a lasagna type food from the 1st century CE):<br><a href="http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_IS_ART/pasta/historypasta.html" target="_blank">http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_I...torypasta.html</a><br><br>
This article also references noodle-like food in Asia as far back as 3000 BCE.<br><br>
So... it's an interesting question to ponder as it is not as modern of a food as some would think. I've often thought about it, I know that much.
 

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In NT, Fallon talks about how traditionally, grain was often sprouted in the field by the time it was finished being harvested, because the process was slower and done in several steps, rather than our all-in-one swathing-combining- threshing machines do in modern times. Also, I don't know when flour was first refined, but I assume that traditional pasta was rolled out, and made of whole-grain flour rather than white.
 

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Given how complicated it is to make fancy pasta by hand, I would have to say that even in the Italian culture, regular people (not rich ones that would have servants make it) must have had it rarely. Maybe a special occasion dish.<br><br>
Then again, lasagna type of thing, this appears in other cultures as a common dish - some sort of flat dough (tortilla, pita bread, lasagna noodles, filo dough) layered with other ingredients. Rolling out a flat dough isn't that hard. I think where the soaking part comes in is that people used to be a lot busier doing everyday tasks and grains got soaked on accident, while they were busy doing other things. And I would venture to guess that whole grains were cheaper than white, simply because to get white flower, it takes more manpower.
 

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Also...it seems pasta has always been a side dish...taking back seat to the main meat dish- not usually a main-course like SAD has adopted pasta.<br><br>
Like PP have said, I don't think it has been a daily staple for them.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, it's arguable that pasta is not "traditional" in the sense that we usually mean. Italy and the middle east were very cosmopolitan places, their populations could afford to eat luxuriously, and did so, for many many years. They used a lot of sugar in an era when most people rarely saw any sugar. They refined their flour very, very early. Just because they were eating it 400 years ago doesn't mean it was a primitive type food. I don't know the history of couscous, but I do know that the Italians started eating pasta around the 14th century, give or take.</div>
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I am pretty sure the Romans used pasta as currency and ate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think that pasta is traditionally made of white flour--usually semolina right?<br><br>
And, there just isn't a lot of water in pasta; so, I really can't see it being soaked. Maybe it was sprouted on accident like a pp said.<br><br>
I make my own pasta with a machine (or did before NT, I have only made it once in the past 6 mos), but if you watch shows like Chiao Italia, they show little old lady artisans making pretty elaborate pasta shapes completely by hand.<br><br>
So, I would definitely agree that the earliest pastas were made of whole grains (I would assume couscous, too), but I just get confused when I start thinking about soaking and stuff. Like, maybe a little whole grain pasta or whatever that hasn't been soaked or sprouted is okay.
 

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I'll be honest that pasta has been my biggest downfall in transitioning to an NT/TF lifestyle. It's something we always ate 3-4 times a week (sometimes more if you count leftovers for lunch) and a huge love of mine. We've cut it down to about twice a week. But DH is not a fan of grains like rice, quinoa, etc, so that's why I haven't tried harder on pasta.<br><br>
Semolina is usually the flour of choice for pasta. And when you make your own, couldn't you soak the dough overnight somehow? I've never made pasta so I'm not familiar with how it all works, but maybe that would help?<br><br>
I do agree with PPs that the grains used in days gone by were probably accidentally soaked/sprouted in the field before used.
 

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I found some Ezekiel 4:9 pasta at Whole Foods the other day, and plan to try it out in the next week or two with spaghetti. I hope to one day get a pasta maker, and then will sprout my grains, dehydrate, and then grind to make into pasta. In the meantime, we only have pasta about once every other week, so it's not one of my #1 worries.<br>
Melanie
 

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IMO the ezikiel pasta is horrible....The only pasta we still eat ( and really just the kids occasionally, dh and I dont) is Tinkyada's brown rice pasta.<br><br>
I would speculate that in traditional times grains got sprouted and soaked much by accident. Like Sally says, harvesting was much less efficient and the grains started fermenting on the field. And the way breads and other grain products were made just invited fermentation, as in sourdough instead of yeast. Also without refridgeration you cant really stop fermentation. I would think that the porridge was eaten as is on day one and by day three is was nice and fermented <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
I just cant see a traditional housewife worrying about the temperature at which her beans were soaking to get the phytic acids out...she soaked her beans to cut down on the time it needed to cook (saving fuel). Her bread was sourdough because that what you did if you wanted fluffu bread, her flour was whole because that was what she could make herself. My point being, that "traditional" pasta was probably very different from what you would get in the supermarket today....<br><br>
And just because the romans ate pasta, or noodles in china 3000 years ago doesn't mean these things provide optimal nutrition for humans ( but then again, I believe grains are a compromise to begin with, we barely eat them at all, we're more of a lacto paleo family <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Tanya
 

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Actually on the scale of things, cultivating grains, came rather late in the game. Animal products have been the staple for humans, not grains as we are told
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">And just because the romans ate pasta, or noodles in china 3000 years ago doesn't mean these things provide optimal nutrition for humans ( but then again, I believe grains are a compromise to begin with, we barely eat them at all, we're more of a lacto paleo family <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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I'm down on grains too (but like you, we do eat brown rice pasta on occasion, although I try to limit myself to kelp noodles). I was so surprised to read how many of the healthy traditional peoples WAP studied for <b>NAPD</b> ate them.
 

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I must say, the contention that seeds sprouted and fermented in the fields is one of the NT claims that I find really dubious. I'd really like to see her documentation for that. My reasoning is, it's been well known for millennia that molds and fungi affecting grains can be very dangerous. So, people would have been rushing to get their harvests under cover once they'd been cut. I don't believe the theory that they were left in fields for long periods of time to sprout.
 

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As far as I know ( but and really not an expert on this at all) it is fungi and molds that grown <i>while</i> the grain is still growing that proved to be dangerous (ergot for example on rye). As for grains fermenting/sprouting spontaniously, while I dont have documentation or anything ( and honestly i dont care all that much, I dont think grains are a great idea for humans, regardless if they are sprouted, fermented or dipped in gold <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) but it seems reasonable to me that the grains went through some sort of process, while in the fields or while in storage. But on that same note, due to storage being what is was, the grain was probably rather rancid for most of the year too.....<br><br>
Tanya
 
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