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It's Pasta Time! Celebrate National Pasta Month in October

by NDWC

Posted on 10/3/2018

October may mean different things to different people - football, fall leaves, pumpkins, etc., but October also means "It's Pasta Time!" National Pasta Month is celebrated each October, an event the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC) has recognized for over 25 years as a way to acknowledge our state's durum wheat producers and pasta industry. Local newspapers and radio stations will be recognizing National Pasta Month and offering prize packages to lucky readers and listeners around the state. Prize packages are sponsored by the NDWC, U.S. Durum Growers Association, Dakota Growers Pasta, and Philadelphia Macaroni.

North Dakota remains the largest producer of durum in the country, accounting for about 60 percent of annual production. This year, producers planted an estimated one million acres of durum in the state, with production estimated at nearly 40 million bushels. While that may not seem like a lot compared to other crops, it is enough durum to make 13 billion servings of pasta! Our neighboring state of Montana is the next largest producer of durum in the United States.

A good share of our production is processed in-state at one of these facilities: Minot Milling, a division of Philadelphia Macaroni located in Minot, N.D.; Dakota Growers Pasta Company, a subsidiary of Post Holdings located in Carrington, N.D.; and the North Dakota Mill in Grand Forks. North Dakota durum is also sent out of state to a variety of mills throughout the United States, and to customers around the world. Italy, Algeria, and Nigeria are the largest buyers, but North Dakota durum also finds its way to smaller markets in Central America as well as Europe. Pasta is the primary product produced in these countries, but durum is also used to produce bread and couscous.

During National Pasta Month, the NDWC and our state's durum producers encourage you to make your favorite pasta dish for family or friends, or try out a new pasta recipe! Pasta is a nutritious food choice, especially when paired with nutrient rich food partners like vegetables, beans, lean meats, cheese, and healthy oils and sauces. For great recipes and cooking tips, visit www.pastafits.org. For more information on National Pasta Month and North Dakota durum, visit www.ndwheat.com.