Feature Story

Enjoy your “Ispageti”

Filipino style spaghetti. Image © panlasangpinoy.com

MURRIETA, California – The National Spaghetti Day on January 4 recognized the worldwide favorite for ages and loved by millions – the long, thin cylindrical pasta of Italian and Sicilian origin – spaghetti!

There are a variety of different pasta dishes that are based on spaghetti (the Italian plural of the diminutive spago) from spaghetti ala Carbonara or garlic and oil, to spaghetti with tomato sauce, meat sauce, bolognese, Alfredo sauce, clam sauce or other sauces. Spaghetti dishes are traditionally served topped with grated hard cheeses such as Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, or other cheeses.

Spaghetti is found around the world, even in the Philippines where it is locally spelled as ispageti.

DYK: Foodie Fact

I bet you did not know that there is Filipino-style spaghetti! Filipino spaghetti is sweet! Filipino fusion goes back to 1900!

With somewhat overcooked noodles and sliced red hotdogs in its saccharine-sweet sauce, Filipino sweet spaghetti is an anomaly in a world where al dente pasta and a tart-savory red sauce (without bright red sliced hotdogs) are the hallmarks of a perfectly-executed spaghetti dish. It is a heavily-bastardized Italian dish but an undeniably Filipino favorite from childhood. It is the ultimate nostalgia evoking birthday dish-slash-comfort food in the Philippines.

Carrots, garlic, onions, and red or yellow bell peppers garlic, evaporated milk are examples of things that can show up in some of the recipes. Some sweeten the sauce with banana ketchup instead of adding more sugar. Others add red sausage and melted cheese, especially the classic way Eden cheese that comes in a blue box.

Commercialized the Nostaligia

If you’re heading to the Philippines, you can find it at big fast food chains like McDonalds, called the McSpaghetti. And the Filipino fast-food franchise Jollibee’s has their own version that has developed a following. Even KFC serves it up with their fried chicken in the Philippines!

Spaghetti Fun Fact

An Italian restaurant called Buca di Beppo in Garden Grove, California filled a swimming pool re-purposed as a pasta bowl measuring 15′ in diameter by 3.5′ high with more than 13,786 pounds of pasta and 120 gallons of sauce – setting a new world record for the Largest Bowl of Pasta!

The world’s Largest Bowl of Pasta was not wasted. Buca di Beppo donated it to a local agricultural community to be used as animal feed. The chain was committed to donating 10,000 pounds (4,535.9 kg) of dry pasta to charities nationwide as part of this event.

The Spaghetti Song

Spaghetti is so popular in the United States that a song was created. It was once sung on the All American show, “Sesame Street”. The song is sung to the tune of “On Top of Old Smoky,” the fun children’s song, “On Top of Spaghetti” was written and originally sung by folk singer Tom Glazer with the Do-Re-Mi Children’s Chorus in 1963.

On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table,
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.”

(Watch More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uwxyyeW51w)

Google a Filipino spaghetti recipe, whip some up for you, the kaibigan, and the pamilya, then use #NationalSpaghettiDay to post on social media. Goditi gli spaghetti! Enjoyin ang ispageti!

Daniella Flanagan
Dani, as Daniella is known among her friends, is an actress, production assistant, producer, set designer, casting director, host, and reporter. She is a huge fan of beignet, crawfish, catfish, palabok, pancit, and the great States of Texas and California. Her background is in International Business and TV/Film production.

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