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International Carbonara Day
Today is International Carbonara Day! An occasion launched by the Italian Association of Confectionery and Pasta Industries (AIDEPI) and the International Pasta Organisation (IPO), to celebrate the dish made famous in Italy.
There are many theories for the origin of the name, which may be more recent than the dish itself.
Since the name is derived from carbonaro (the Italian word for charcoal burner), some believe the dish was first made as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers. In parts of the United States the etymology gave rise to the term “coal miner’s spaghetti”. It has even been suggested that it was created as a tribute to the Carbonari (“charcoalmen”), a secret society prominent in the early, repressed stages of Italian unification. It seems more likely that it is an urban dish from Rome, probably first described after WWII in the Italian capital, when many Italians were eating powdered eggs and bacon supplied by troops from the United States.
Italian traditionalists insist there are only six carbonara ingredients: pasta, pork tongue, pecorino, eggs, salt and pepper.