Italian-originated fresh pasta is gradually spreading in the world. It is increasingly being preferred in Turkey as well. Fresh pasta dough, which is made of durum wheat semolina, egg, and water, can be used to make pasta products of various shapes with or without filling. Ravioli, tortellini and other filled fresh pasta varieties are produced together with the fillings prepared with fresh pasta dough, cheese, spinach and/or meat and many other foodstuffs. Turkish traditional ravioli (manti) can be cut into different shapes such as square, triangle or semilunar shapes.
The pasta, an economic product with a high nutritional value, is being used as a main food product at many locations of the world. Pasta with hundreds of different shapes and tastes exist. Among them, there are fresh pasta products and its varieties. Fresh pasta is produced daily in dedicated shops in Italy, the motherland of pasta, and it is sold in the form of cooled and frozen products in groceries. Although their consumption is not as common as the conventional dry pasta, it is an improving field that has shown its potential for growth in recent years.
Fresh pasta has started to be talked about particularly as ready-to-eat and frozen mantis rapidly hit the stores in Turkey. Currently, there are a number of companies that have started to invest in fresh pasta production. However, it doesn’t mean a thing as a concept from the perspective of the Turkish consumer yet. Therefore, fresh pasta market needs some more time to improve and become more common in Turkey. For this reason, companies leaning towards the fresh pasta market are trying to constitute their market in out-of-home consumption area in this phase. Depar Marketing has been producing UN DO TRE fresh pasta and contributing to this sector for 14 years. INC Group is another company which has been trying to popularize the fresh pasta among Turkish people. INC is growing rapidly with Pasta Giulietta brand which was designed in Italy and is being produced in Turkey.
FRESH PASTA IN ASIA
The most advanced regions of fresh pasta market are Asian countries that reveal themselves with pasta varieties with filling including noodles and ravioli. There are various pasta products and usage types in many regions of Asia including Central Asia, South Asia, and the Far East. However, in most of the countries of this region, fresh pasta (particularly noodle and manti) is produced by households at home by hand. Fresh pasta production in industrial terms is not that common yet. Noodle-like pasta has an important position in Asian consumption habit and many varieties of noodle are originated from Asian countries.
Asian noodles consist of sticks that have various shapes, thicknesses and lengths. They may be like thin spaghetti or flat, curved or circle shaped. They are made of various flours including wheat, rice, potatoes, soybean, mung bean and etc. In some Asian noodles, they also add eggs but this is not the common practice in the continent. Asian noodles may be in various colors including transparent white, opaque white, cream, yellow, brown or other colors. Mixtures used in the dough affect the color of the noodle. Asian noodles can be eaten in the form of both hot meal and lukewarm. They are used in soups, salads, sautéed meat and other Asian food. Ravioli style fresh pasta is very common particularly in Central Asia. So ravioli of many different sizes and shapes are used in this part of the world. Ravioli, which is included in the filled style fresh pasta, is produced being cut into various shapes including square, circle, triangle or semilunar shapes. They are filled with filling materials consisting of meat, cheese, herbs, mushrooms, and vegetables.
FRESH PASTA IN ITALY
Fresh pasta dough, which is made of durum semolina, egg, and water, can be used to make pasta products of various shapes without filling. Commonly known long fresh pasta are named as fettuccine tagliatelle, spaghetti, linguini, pappardelle. Penne, fusilli, casarecce, and farfalle are among the firsts to come to mind. When the fresh pasta dough is combined with fillings prepared with cheese, spinach, meat and many other materials; they become ravioli, tortellini and others filled pasta varieties. Fresh pasta is preserved in two methods until they are served for the consumption. Firstly, products being packaged with Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) method can be kept for 75 days at +4 Celcius degree. In the second method, they can be kept for 18 months in the deepfreeze environment at -18 Celcius degrees.
THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DRY AND FRESH PASTA
Dry pasta is defined and known for being completely dried before packaging. Those products are generally made of semolina, water, and salt. They can be stored indefinitely without refrigerating or freezing. Dry pasta is a food that is intensely being produced and it has many varieties because it can be stored for long years and transported easily to other regions. However, fresh pasta does not go through the phase of cooking, and usually eggs are used in its production and it includes a high proportion of water. Therefore, it has to be refrigerated or frozen in order to be preserved from spoilage. However, these measures also obstruct the product from being popularized or exported to a considerable extent. There are various sizes and shapes of fresh pasta although to a lesser extent when compared to dry pasta. However, it can offer much more different tastes than the dry one. Besides, fresh pasta is also softer than the dry pasta and can be cooked in a shorter time.