+ ~ -
 
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
 
Report an Error
Go!
 
Go!
 
TOC
 

sat on a lever, bumping up and down; and
making it describe the arc of a circle. Grinding,
sifting, mixing, kneading and pressing,
were all going on in the same place; the
manufactured article being taken to another
place to dry. With pencil in hand and book
on a sack, I began to take notes.

"He is going to make a story about us,"
said some of the men who had mustered
around us.

"No, he is not," said others; " he is going
to set up a macaroni fabrica in England."

"Signor! will you take me with you?"
said a sharp-looking, fair-complexioned,
young man. " Fifteen hundred ducats only
will set it a-going."

The poor fellow was really in earnest,
I believe, and was somewhat disappointed
when I assured him of his mistake.

The grain used for making macaroni is of
the very hardest quality, is grown principally
in Puglia, and is known as Saragala. It is
washed in the mountain stream which flows
down from behind the city, and woe to the
wearied traveller who is awakened at the
dawn of day by the numerous grain- washers.
The operation is cleverly and rapidly done,
and amusing enough it is to watch it. When
ground- which it is by the action of
watermills- the flour is sifted into five different
qualities. The first is called Farina, which,
being sifted, is divided into Fiore and Brenna.
The fiore is used for making the ordinary
macaroni, whilst the brenna is used as food
for horses and pigs. The fiore is itself again
sifted until a yet finer quality, called
azemmatura, is formed. This is used to make a
superior kind of macaroni. A last sifting
produces semolina, the finest kind which
can be formed.

The flour is well mixed in a large tub, in
the proportion of twenty-four caraffa of water
(a caraffa being about a pint and a-half), to
a hundred and fifty Neapolitan pounds of
flour. The quantity thus used, goes by the
name of a Pasta, and is put on a large
kneading-board. At the farther end of the
board a long lever moves horizontally by a
swivel; and, on the other extremity of it, sit
three or four half-naked girdled men, who,
for three quarters of an hour, move backward
and forward on a kind of horizontal
see-saw describing diminutive arcs of circles.
In this way the lever is brought to bear
upon the dough, kneading and cutting it till
it is ready for pressing. The men remind
one of figures in Egyptian drawings; stiff and
unnatural. 'Tis hard work, however, and
there is always a relief party to take the
place of the exhausted men. The last
operation is most important, as it gives its
character and form to the macaroni.

There are various kinds of macaroni, or
pasta, rejoicing in different names, as
vermicelli stellata, starred, acine, dipepe, ricci
fuitani, flowing rocks; semaza di meloni,
melon seed; occhi di pernici, partridge eye;
capelletti, little hats; stivallettion, small
boots; punti del ago, needle-points. The first
is that long sort which we English use as
a dolce or au gratin. All the others are
used to thicken soup, like barley. First, let
me speak of the vermicelli. When kneaded,
the dough is put into a large copper cylindrical
vessel, hollow above and below; but at the
lower extremity is fixed a moveable plate,
perforated with holes. When held up to the
light, it looks like the section of a honeycomb,
being circular. On the top of the
cylinder is a block corresponding to its
size, and the whole is then exposed to the
action of a press. Screw goes the press,
and far below, from out of the holes of the
cylinder, a series of white worms protrude
their heads. Screw, screw again, and out
they come longer and longer; until, having
arrived at the legitimate length, they are cut
off; and so the operation of screwing and
cutting is continued until the whole quantity
of dough is exhausted. The vermicelli is
then hung upon poles for drying; which
requires usually about eight days under
favourable circumstances, a north wind
being always preferred, as a sirocco wind
is preferred for the kneading. With regard
to the smaller kinds of paste, they are
made by a mixture of machinery and
handwork. Thus, the cylinder being placed
horizontally, a man with a razor stands by the
side; and, as the dough protrudes through
the holes, he cuts it off immediately into
small bits,—a simple and primitive method
enough. The smallest kinds of all are
made, however, by hand, and principally
at Minori and Majuri, two small villages
which we passed en route for Amalfi. In
fact, the whole coast lives by making and
eating macaroni; and one probable reason
of this is, that lying, as the whole of this
district does, under lofty mountains which
are intersected by deep ravines down which
pour mighty torrents, there is an unlimited
supply of water power. I was informed that
in Amalfi alone, about eighty thousand
tomoli of flour are consumed annually for all
purposes; a very small proportion for bread,
for your macaroni-eater is not a great bread-
eater. Altogether, there are about twenty
fabriche of macaroni in the city, each fabrica
employing in the simple manufacture of the
article about fifteen hands. Then a much
larger number of persons are occupied in the
washing, and preparation, and carriage of
grain; for everything is done by hand, and
great numbers prepare macaroni on a small
scale, without dignifying their more limited
enterprises with the title of fabrica.
Gambardella is evidently the great man of the
place, for he imports his own grain; has four
brigantini, of two hundred and fifty tons
each, which bring up grain from Manfredonia
and Sicily; and, what Gambardella does not
consume, he sells amongst his neighbours.
Let me, now, put on a paper cap and

Profile Information

Application afterLoad: 0.000 seconds, 0.28 MB
Application afterInitialise: 0.015 seconds, 1.00 MB
Application afterRoute: 0.019 seconds, 2.05 MB
Application afterDispatch: 0.068 seconds, 3.65 MB
Application afterRender: 0.108 seconds, 3.98 MB

Memory Usage

4209864

21 queries logged

  1. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = 'f9f0af868e0bab7a7be3a59fffba1386'
  2. DELETE
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE ( TIME < '1660108695' )
  3. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = 'f9f0af868e0bab7a7be3a59fffba1386'
  4. INSERT INTO `jos_session` ( `session_id`,`time`,`username`,`gid`,`guest`,`client_id` )
      VALUES ( 'f9f0af868e0bab7a7be3a59fffba1386','1660110495','','0','1','0' )
  5. SELECT *
      FROM jos_components
      WHERE parent = 0
  6. SELECT folder AS TYPE, element AS name, params
      FROM jos_plugins
      WHERE published >= 1
      AND access <= 0
      ORDER BY ordering
  7. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-162'
  8. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-162'
  9. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id = '223'
  10. UPDATE jos_toc_pages
      SET hits = ( hits + 1 )
      WHERE id='223'
  11. SELECT template
      FROM jos_templates_menu
      WHERE client_id = 0
      AND (menuid = 0 OR menuid = 95)
      ORDER BY menuid DESC
      LIMIT 0, 1
  12. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-162'
      AND id_volume = 19
  13. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_volumes
      WHERE id = '19'
  14. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE id = '398'
  15. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE  id_volume = 19
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  16. SELECT id, DATE, id_page
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE  id_volume = 19
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  17. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  18. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  19. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 19
      AND ordering > 170
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
      LIMIT 1
  20. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 19
      AND ordering < 170
      ORDER BY ordering DESC
      LIMIT 1
  21. SELECT id, title, module, POSITION, content, showtitle, control, params
      FROM jos_modules AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm
      ON mm.moduleid = m.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      AND m.access <= 0
      AND m.client_id = 0
      AND ( mm.menuid = 95 OR mm.menuid = 0 )
      ORDER BY POSITION, ordering

Language Files Loaded

Untranslated Strings Diagnostic

None

Untranslated Strings Designer

None