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This is the favourite food of Italy, where, especially among the Neapolitans, it may be regarded as the staff of life. "The crowd of London," says Mr. Forsyth, "is a double line in quick motion; it is the crowd of business. The crowd of Naples consists in a general tide rolling up and down, and in the middle of this tide, a hundred eddies of men. You are stopped by a carpenter's bench, you are lost among shoemakers' stalls, and you dash among the _pots of a macaroni stall_." This article of food is nothing more than a thick paste, made of the best wheaten flour, with a small quantity of water. When it has been well worked, it is put into a hollow cylindrical vessel, pierced with holes of the size of tobacco-pipes at the bottom. Through these holes the mass is forced by a powerful screw bearing on a piece of wood made exactly to fit the inside of the cylinder. Whilst issuing from the holes, it is partially baked by a fire placed below the cylinder, and is, at the same time, drawn away and hung over rods placed about the room, in order to dry. In a few days it is fit for use. As it is both wholesome and nutritious, it ought to be much more used by all classes in England than it is. It generally accompanies Parmesan cheese to the tables of the rich, but is also used for thickening soups and making puddings.

Macaroni is composed of wheaten flour, flavoured with other articles, and worked up with water into a paste, to which, by a peculiar process, a tubular or pipe form is given, in order that it may cook more readily in hot water. That of smaller diameter than macaroni (which is about the thickness of a goose-quill) is called vermicelli ; and when smaller still, fidelini. The finest is made from the flour of the hard-grained Black-Sea wheat. Macaroni is the principal article of food in many parts of Italy, particularly Naples, where the best is manufactured, and from whence, also, it is exported in considerable quantities. In this country, macaroni and vermicelli are frequently used in soups.


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