This is the kind of study that we love to dissect. Last April, the HelloFresh platform surveyed no less than 1,500 people about their pasta preferences, and the results have just been released. If we learn a lot about the preferences of the French in terms of shapes and varieties of pasta, we also discover some clues about the evolution of their eating habits.
In first place on the list of the favorite pasta of the French, we find spaghetti, as with our Italian friends. The queen of pasta seduces 27% of respondents, followed very closely by the famous – and not really Italian – pasta shells, which satisfy nearly 24.53% of French people. Then, tagliatelle, penne and lasagna are found neck and neck. Why is that ? “Tagliatelle and lasagna lend themselves more to more ambitious preparations”say the authors of the study.
Another lesson: the French are still very attached to traditional dough, prepared from durum wheat semolina. Wholemeal or semi-wholemeal pasta is still struggling to find its audience, as are vegetable-based pasta. “Carrots, zucchini, leeks, these unusual and colorful pastas are often offered to children but are just as tasty in fine recipes with sauce”, note the authors.
For sauces, the French cannot hide their weakness for bolognese, well ahead of the “carbonara sauce” (28.76%), the pesto sauce (12.43%) and the “neapolitan sauce” with tomato (9.24%). The pesto can boast of such a place thanks to its multiple variants. “If the original recipe for Genoese pesto consists of oil, garlic, but above all basil, it is possible to change a food in the recipe to obtain a different pesto, such as the Calabrian pesto with chilli or the one with wild garlic”say the authors.
Another crucial subject: cooking. And on this point, the French are surprisingly in the nails. 66.23% of them prefer their pasta al dente, while the rest will prefer tender or “well cooked”. As for the cheese that accompanies the pasta, parmesan does well (37.15%), while a good number of those questioned are content to take whatever cheese they find in their fridges (24 %).