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Food and Drink

Pasta today: supergrains, gluten-free, on-the-go

On October 18, Foodimentary.com tweeted, "The average person in Italy eats more than 51 lbs [23kg] of pasta every year; in North America it's about 15-1/2 lbs [7kg]," causing a retweet frenzy. Here is a look at other recent pasta trends and predictions.

In 2010, pasta has become a functional food; it is no longer about just water and flour.

On October 13, Lidia Bastianich, celebrity chef and co-owner of New York's new Italian slow-food market Eataly, told the New York Times that whole grain pasta demand is also on the rise, recommending high-quality brands like Garofalo, Alce Nero, Bionaturae and Rustichella d'Abruzzo.

Teresa Spinelli of the Italian Centre in Edmonton, Canada noted that in 2010 "there are more gluten-free pasta...on store shelves," according to the food section of Canada.com.

The blog HungryBeast of The Daily Beast agreed with Spinelli's assessment of the rise in gluten-free pasta and cited Conte's Pasta ($7-12/€5-8.65) as a successful brand for gluten-free ravioli and pierogies.

Bon Appetit's The Conscious Cook blog claims the following gluten-free pasta are the world's top for flavor and texture: Riso Bello Spaghetti al Riso ($5-7/€3.60-5), Ancient Harvest Supergrain Quinoa Pasta ($3.19/€2.30) and Rustichella d'Abruzzo Organic Corn Spaghetti ($8/€5.75).

On a foodie forum at Chowhound, participant "RetiredChef" posted that "beans will be the new pasta" and "Noodle and Pho [Vietnamese noodle soup] places will continue to grow in epic numbers" in 2010.

And, in July European fast noodle shop chains expanded to the United States with Vapiano, Hello Pasta and Nooï.

To follow the 100+ retweets, track #PastaFacts on Twitter.