If you’ve got a hankering for pasta, this Sunday might be the time to indulge. Oct. 25 is world pasta day, so designated to raise awareness of pasta and its base ingredient, durum wheat.
Canada is the world’s biggest producer of durum used in pasta. More than half the durum in the world — four to six million tonnes — comes from here, according to Canadian Wheat Board figures. It is sold to customers in 23 countries.
It’s hard to distinguish between durum varieties when the crop is standing in the field or sitting in the bin. Not so when it is turned into the many available shapes and sizes of pasta. In 2007, when world pasta day was a fairly new concept, I wrote a column in The Western Producer that explored various types of pasta. It got a good response, so I’ve provided a link here.
You’ll see in the introduction that in October 2007, when the column was written, the Pool Return Outlook for No. 1 durum with 12.5 percent protein was $12.71 per bushel. As of Oct. 22, 2009, it was $5.80 per bu. It is not the best of times for durum. Large North American crops are driving the price down and tariffs applied to durum by the European Union are adding further pressure. Details on that story are available by clicking here.