Pasta dish … an urgent solution to ensure food security in Tunisia

Tunisians add flavor to Italian pasta (Marco Di Loro / Getty)

Not a week goes by that a Tunisian family does not prepare the pasta dish, which is increasingly present on the tables as economic and social crises escalate making other dishes inaccessible to some groups.
Only pasta pastes can quench the hunger of many low-income families. So says a 34-year-old cleaner in a palace in the capital, Tunisia, who describes the pasta dish as closest to the hearts and pockets of Tunisians and confirms that at her family table it is about 4 days a week.
She continues in her interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “I cook different forms of pasta according to my abilities. is heavy.Other times it was more generous to cook it with sauce and meat or chicken.
And she believes that “pasta resists the high price and therefore replaced the Shakshuka dish on the tables of the poor, as the prices of the ingredients of this dish increased, including eggs, peppers, tomatoes, oil and spices”.

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A study conducted by statistics company Sigma Konsai supports that the consumption of pasta by Tunisians increases up to three times a week. “The increase in pasta consumption indicates the escalation of the social crisis and the increase in poverty in Tunisia, which requires a shift in dietary habits towards less expensive dishes,” said Hassan Zarkouni, director of Sigma Konsai. He adds: “Subsidized cats are a haven for the poor in social crises, but even this reality is a worrying sign.”
An Italian study conducted in March 2021 ranks Tunisia in second place in terms of consumption of bread and sweets, with 17 kilograms per person per year, noting that Italians occupy the first place with a quantity of 23.5 kilograms in vit. The Italian study found that high consumption of pastas, including bread and pasta, is among the consequences of the global Corona pandemic in Tunisia.
A study conducted by the Government Consumer Institute in Tunisia on household food shows that the Tunisian diet is based on pastries, which provide more calories and minerals needed by their body. She points out that the consumption of pasta has reached 14 kilograms per capita per year in the southwestern regions of the country and 12.9 kilograms in the Midwest regions, while the national consumption has not exceeded 11.9 kilograms per person per year.
Sociologist Sabreen Jelassi told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “food security is becoming an absolute priority for all peoples in times of crisis. a prominent sign of food security. “she has.” She adds: multiple ways and at the lowest cost. Thus it becomes clear that the nutritional behavior of Tunisians is greatly influenced by the economic and social situation, and poverty and lack of money divert cooking towards dough, given that Tunisia is in the group of countries that depend on cereals for their staple food.

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Tunisian nutritional behavior influenced by economic and social situation (Shazly Ben Ibrahim / Getty)

Tunisian nutritional behavior influenced by economic and social situation (Shazly Ben Ibrahim / Getty)

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Al-Jalassi believes that “crises create new forms of food due to the search of citizens for dishes that suit their abilities. In the previous difficult stages, Tunisians turned to nature and created dishes from wild herbs to provide food “enough, before pasta. dominated the food of the poor in the last two decades.” .
Tunisians of all social groups cook pasta in various forms and excel at giving a special character to the dish brought by the Italians using local spices, fish and Mediterranean fruits, lamb and poultry, or even cooking them with cheese and vegetables. .
The history of pasta in Tunisia dates back to the nineteenth century, when the Italians settled in the country and they brought with them the pasta dish that for years competed with couscous of Berber origin.

Beauty trade penetrates hairdressing salon in Tunisia (Fethi Belaid / AFP)

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In the 1930s, an Italian named Gondolfo (Gondolfo) founded the first pasta factory on Farhat Hached Street in the capital, Tunis. The Italian brand “Gondolfo” continued in the Tunisian market until 1990, when the factory closed. Among the first large pasta factories in Tunisia were Manardo, which was on the southern outskirts of the capital, Tunis, and Castro Strazzola, which had facilities on its way to Zaghouan province.
Following the disappearance of Italian pasta factories that paved the way for Tunisians to knock on the doors of these products, the food paste industry has become one of the most prominent food industries in the country and has become a highly skilled competitor in supplying markets with the best varieties, in connection with the growing connection of the Tunisians with its dishes.

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