In order to make quality dried pasta, you need to know your raw ingredients inside out. Back in Roman times, in the Valle dei Mulini, near Gragnano, the people used to grind wheat in order to make bread for the surrounding towns.
The art of milling became a typical activity in the area, with the first family-run pasta factories set up in the 16th century. Locally ground durum wheat semolina was used to make the dried pasta, a foodstuff that meant that even the poorest in society could always have a stockpile of easy-to-store food.
The production of semolina pasta quickly became synonymous with the area, but it wasn’t until 21 July 1854 that Gragnano acquired the moniker of “City of Maccheroni
”. On that day, Ferdinand II of the Kingdom of Naples granted the pasta makers of Gragnano the privilege of supplying the court with all its long pasta. From that moment onwards, pasta became a central pillar of the town's economy
The success of Gragnano pasta, which has remained constant for centuries, is due to a range of factors:
- the area’s perfect exposure to sun and wind, which makes it ideal for the drying process;
- the presence of numerous springs containing extremely pure water in the Lattari Mountains;
- an in-depth knowledge of the art of milling, which enables the locals to select the best wheat and semolina;
- an impressive command of artisanal production techniques, combined with the addition of modern equipment as time has gone on, which allows the locals to respect traditional processes.