Bonucci, Soccer Star and Pasta Champion

Bonucci, Soccer Star and Pasta Champion

Aug 28, 2021Donatella Mulvoni

Italy won the last European soccer championship, but what will remain in history is the tribute to pasta by soccer star Leonardo Bonucci


Two Italian Passions, Soccer and Pasta 

"Azzurri" won the European Championship by beating England at Wembley Stadium. The exciting football show was "seasoned" with the irony of a much-loved national team player, Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci. The athlete, 34, is a famous and beloved Italian professional footballer who plays as a center-back for Serie A club Juventus and the Italy national team. Bonucci, Italy's vice-captain, shouted into a TV camera: It's coming to Rome, mocking the lyric "it's coming home" from the England team's anthem. Bonucci – one of Juventus stars - also taunts England fans by proclaiming, "You all still have to eat a lot of pastasciutta!" It was a small and ironic revenge, as pasta is not only a symbol of the Italian culture in the world and national pride. It is also one of the most well-known jokes about Italians.


You Need to Eat More Pastasciutta

The Italian language, indeed, has numerous food-related sayings. Bonucci ironically mocked the opponents with a saying very popular in Italy: “Ne dovete mangiare ancora di pastasciutta.” Literally translated: you still have to eat a lot of pasta. It means "you need to grow older and wiser." In other words, the longer you experience life, the more pastasciutta you eat. Pastasciutta (pronounced pa-sta-shoo-ta) is the generic Italian word for any pasta and sauce dishes. 


A True Italian Obsession

The whole world loves pasta, but the world as a whole also makes fun of us for how much we eat. And indeed, we Italians are really obsessed with it. Pasta is the first love of every Italian. 9 out of 10 Italians consume pasta frequently, and 1 out of 3 every day. We are a record country: every year, we consume 50 pounds per capita! There are over three hundred different types of pasta, but 78% of Italians prefer short pasta such as pennerigatoni, and fusilli. The most loved dish is pasta with tomato sauce (80%).


Pasta in The World

Italian pasta factories produce more than 3 million tons every year. In Europe, one dish out of 3 is made with Italian pasta, while in the world, it is 1 out of 5. Italy exports 29.9% of total pasta. Americans love pasta. The United States is a growing market for Italian food and beverage, particularly pasta, whose exports continued to grow. In the US, spaghetti is the most popular of all pasta types. Spaghetti with tomato sauce is the classic pasta dish that nearly every American has eaten at some point. 

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