La Fabrica Della Pasta di Gragnano
“Making pasta in Gragnano is an ancient form of art, that involves history, culture, patience, secrets and traditions.”
After a delicious breakfast of freshly made croissants with Nutella and a group picture in front of the Vesuvian Institute, we were able to leave Castellammare a little past 9 a.m. As we are getting more accustomed to the Italian culture more and more everyday, little delays are not considered as problems. The ride to Grannano was less than 20 minutes and when we reached La Fabrica Della Pata di Gragnano,we found it to be relatively small from the outside. As soon as we got there we were welcomed by our tour guide of the day who also works at the factory. She told us about the history of pasta making and about the area. Grannano is the perfect place to produce pasta. This is because the uphill position of the factory provides the perfect weather conditions to dry pasta where as the streams in the area make up the main ingredients for pasta. When it was time to tour the inside of the pasta factory, we learned that unlike regular flour, the flour that they use is yellow because of the flours produced in the region. They also use the water from the springs around the area and have a special system to store the water for the production. The system that they have allows the air to go through the case while keeping the water fungi and bacteria free. As we moved further into the factory the temperature rose significantly. It was an awesome experience to see the pasta cutting machines and the drying units. They use bronze cutting blocks to give texture to the pasta in order for it to hold the pasta sauce better. Unlike other pasta factories, their drying system is very different. They dry their pasta under 42-44 Celsius for approximately 12 hours while other factories dry their pasta in a much higher temperature during a short amount of time. We then viewed the packing station, which we saw different packaging units for different types of pasta and that the long tri-colored pasta is packaged manually. Even though La fabrica Della Pasta di Gragnano seems like a small business, they are one of the most famous in Italy. They run a very efficient business. They have a very big selection of pasta and 15 of the shapes that they use for the pastas are patented by them. While still reasonable, the process of making and packaging their pasta is reflected in their prices. Overall visiting this site was very informational. It helped us understand the pasta culture in Italy better then before. It was also helpful in seeing a different approach on their marketing and sales techniques.