The Grain Chain

Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Pasta is the world’s favourite food

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Pasta, in all its shapes and sizes, is loved the world over and can now call itself the world’s favourite food. In a global survey by Oxfam, pasta has overtaken other staples such as meat and rice to be the most widely eaten food as it soars in popularity in countries such as Brazil and South Africa.

Italy remains the number one producer and consumer of pasta.

Each region of Italy has its own variations and specialities. The most popular shapes are conchiglie (shells) and farfalle (bow ties).

By Italian law, all pasta made there must use durum wheat. This wheat is different to the wheat grown to make bread flour; having a higher gluten content and typically being more golden in colour hence the yellowy colour of pasta. has a whole section on the science of baking. Aimed at 11-14 year olds this section aims to uncover the science behind the remarkable natural processes involved in making bread rise including the role that gluten plays.

You may also like to indulge in the world’s favourite foodstuff and get cooking. We have a quick, simple, tasty and nutritious recipe for tuna pasta bake that should feed a group of four.

Ready, steady…bake!

Friday, October 15th, 2010

victoria spongeIt’s National Baking Week from 18 to 24 October so why not get your mixing bowls and spoons ready, your aprons on and get your class baking!


Most of us may remember baking with our parents or grandparents and impatiently waiting for the final products to cool so that we could ice and decorate them. Or the overwhelming sense of happiness we felt when presented with a large birthday cake, complete with candles to be blown out and wishes to be made. Maybe it’s this nostalgia and familiarity which has seen baking rise in popularity throughout the recession with 28% of home cooks now baking their favourite childhood treats at least once a week.


Of course, the word “baking” conjures up images of cakes, biscuits and buns but lots of tasty main meals can also be baked. Our recipe for tuna pasta bake makes a great main course for children to try in the classroom. You could reduce the fat content by using skimmed milk instead of semi skimmed milk and an olive or vegetable based spread instead of butter. You could also increase the vitamin and fibre content by adding more vegetables.


Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a sweet treat now and again – in fact the team are quite partial to a wedge of our delicious honey cake with our cuppas. It’ll go down really well in your staff room… and just as well with your class when they give it a go!


Baking links for lesson planning


We have ready-made lesson plans focussed on baking and we’ve highlighted them under the relevant age groups below so you can head directly to the relevant section… leaving you with more time to sit down, relax and eat that cake you’ve just baked!


If baking with children aged 5 to 7 sounds just too messy for first thing on a Monday morning, why not challenge them to virtually become the baker instead!step6


Can your class of 7 to 11 year olds complete the Freddy Flourbags challenge? This interactive quiz will not only encourage them to think about baking, but the whole of the grain chain too!


Teach your 11 to 14 class about the science behind baking.


For 14 to 16 year olds, why not encourage them to learn more about the industrial baking process


Do you know…about the history of baking?


In ancient history, the first evidence of baking occurred when humans picked wild grass grains, soaked them in water and mashed the mixture into a paste. The paste was cooked by pouring it onto a flat, hot rock, resulting in a very primitive flat bread.


Around 2500 B.C., records show that the Egyptians baked bread, through a process which they may have learnt from the Babylonians.


Baking flourished in the Roman Empire. In about 300 B.C., the pastry cook became an occupation for Romans (known as the pastillarium). Around 1 A.D., it is thought that there were more than three hundred pastry chefs in Rome.


Eventually, because of what was happening in Rome, the art of baking became known throughout Europe, and eventually spread to the eastern parts of Asia.