It was National Noodle Day on Oct. 6 and National Pasta Day is this Thursday, Oct. 17, and while some might furrow their brows quizzically at the celebration of these two (dare I say similar?) events only 10 days apart, others might bludgeon me with wet bucatini for grouping these two occasions together.
There may have been a time when the terms pasta and noodles were considered virtually interchangeable. Today, however, “noodle” has become almost synonymous with a shape, as this category of pantry staples has broadened to include products made from fresh vegetables, seaweed and a wide variety of grains and other ingredients.
The same is true of “pasta,” the word used for the Italian-style dough traditionally made from durum wheat and water and formed into a variety of shapes and sizes. Though the formats have largely remained the same, this concept has transformed through consumers’ search for pastas made from alternative ingredients that suit their gluten-free, grain-free or other dietary choices. In both categories, brands have responded with the creation of new and innovative takes on these two beloved foods—of which the following are a few examples.