MACARONI. This article of universal consumption in Europe is strictly an Italian invention (originally made of cheese and paste ; for a very long period its manufacture was entirely confined to that country, the finest qualities even to-day being made there, Correctly speaking, the name macaroni applies only to wheaten paste manipulated in the form of pipes, while vermi celli and paste are the same article in other forms. The very hardest wheat is the only kind properly applicable to its manufac ture, in consequence of its glutenous properties. For choice sorts, native manufacturers use the wheat of Odessa and Tagaroz. Briefly, the process of its manufacture is, the wheat is first ground into coarse meal, the bran being separated in the ordinary way ; in this state it is termed semola (see Semolina); during the grind ing it is absolutely necessary to apply heat and humidity to make semola of good quality. The semola is worked into dough with the addition of water ; for macaroni and vermicelli the dough is then turned into a press supplied with a perforated bottom and cut in desired lengths as it passes out ; a wire hangs in the centre of each hole in the press, to form the hollow in the centre, the paste being partially baked during this process to maintain its form. The whole of the manufacturing in Italy is executed in the most primeval manner.
The finest quality is that possessing the whitest appearance, and which, when boiling, does not split, but swells considerably and becomes quite soft, at the same time maintaining its form. If it fails to bear either of these tests, it has been made from inferior wheat.
The consumption of macaroni in this country constantly in_ creases, and as it is a nutritious, cheap, and convenient article of food, it is becoming deservedly popular. Cooked with sharp
cheese, boiled plainly and eaten as a vegetable with plenty of salt, in soups, and in many other ways, it makes a palatable and eco nomical dish, suited to all classes. American manufacturers have, in some cases, produced an article fully equal to the imported, but in too many cases have injured the reputation of the domestic article.
We believe that no better and cheaper articles of food can be generally introduced to the American public than macaroni and vermicelli. The immense supplies of wheat in this country call for the use of every mode of preparing it for the table that can be developed. We cannot eat it as a vegetable with meats in any other form than this which the Italians have taught us, and ex cept in bread there seems to be no usual way of eating it without sweetening. In cake, and in wheaten-grits porridge, our flour is generally surfeited with sugar to such an extent as to make it anything but a staple for diet. Healthy, cheap, and very nutri tious, we cannot too strongly advocate the general adoption of macaroni upon our tables. The American manufacturers are steadily improving their product, and turning out an article which is firm and retains its shape even after continued boiling, and does not have a slimy, or pasty surface after being cook( d. There is a flavor about the foreign article which is seldom reproduced in the domestic manufacture, and we must acknowledge that although some of our home brands are equal to any Italian goods in the market in sweetness of flavor, being made from better flour, but few of them are equally firm when cooked.