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From Field to Fork: Celebrating Pasta Month

Posted: Sep 24 2019

October is National Pasta Month and the North Dakota Wheat Commission will once again celebrate it and Pasta Lover’s Week during the week of October 20th.  This year’s theme – From Field to Fork – focuses on the process of bringing the durum from the field to the pasta on consumer’s plates.  North Dakota is the largest durum producing state in the country, producing enough durum to make nearly 2 billion pounds of pasta.  

Durum is a unique crop.  Production is relatively small compared to other classes of wheat, accounting for only three percent of total U.S. production on average.  The area where it is grown is also fairly concentrated with the bulk of acres in western North Dakota and eastern Montana.  Over the last few decades, durum acres have declined in size, however, the producers growing durum are as dedicated as ever to growing a quality product to make premium pasta products.  Durum, known for its amber color, high protein, and strong gluten content, is used to make premium pasta products, cous cous and some breads.  A good share of our production is processed in-state or sent out of state to domestic mills, but a portion is also exported out of the country with Italy, Algeria and Nigeria being the largest buyers.

To help celebrate Pasta Month and educate consumers on the importance of durum pasta production, the Commission will be partnering with statewide media to provide durum and pasta facts and trivia.  Participating newspapers and radio stations will provide opportunities for readers and listeners to win a pasta prize package that contains pasta donated by Dakota Growers and Philadelphia Macaroni, pasta spoons donated by the U.S. Durum Growers Association, and t-shirts and tote bags provided by the North Dakota Wheat Commission.

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