The History of the Colander

The tool that binds, in the collective imagination, to the perfect preparation of a pasta dish has an ancient story.

By Pasta Museum

Scolapasta 13 in rame stagnato (Sec. XX, 1910 ca.) by ItaliaPasta Museum

Most likely the colander born from an evolution of sieves and percolators in wicker, linen or bronze with which the wine was filtered ancient times. The oldest specimens were made - like pots - in terracotta. With the discovery of metals, bronze pots and castings appeared, also found in the excavations of Pompeii.

In Medieval times they were also merged in iron. Only in the Renaissance period the first copper specimens appear, material that will remain in use until 19th Century.

Scolapasta 1 in ceramica invetriata (Sec. XIX) by Produzione artigianale italianaPasta Museum

The first Italian testimony of a tool specially made to drain pasta dates back to 1363 and is related to the “caza lasagnaria”, a particular type of perforated tool, supplied to “lasagnari” of the Republic of Genoa. But it looked more like a perforated ladle than a real colander, which appears, instead, made of copper with iron handles, reproduced in the Bartolomeo Scappi Work (15th Century-1577), Pope Pio V’s secret cook, published in Venice in 1570 with “Foratoro” name.

Since then its form has not changed significantly, intimately linked, as it is, to its own function. However has seen a succession of different materials in its large-scale production: from glazed ceramic to copper, aluminium, enamelled metal, steel, up to modern synthetic resin.

Scolapasta 4 in metallo smaltato nero (Sec. XXI) by Gran BretagnaPasta Museum

Colander in black enameled metal, 21st century.

Scolapasta 9 in argento martellato (Sec. XXI, inizio) by FirenzePasta Museum

Colander, hammered silver, Brandimarte Shop for Barilla, 2004

Philippe Starck, scolapasta 10 "Max le chinois" Alessi (Sec. XX, 1990) by ItaliaPasta Museum

The colander, however, has recently been the subject, of numerous studies and applications by designers and architects, that in recent times have developed innovative forms and materials exposed in this section.

Scolapasta 11 in acciaio "Ricciolo" Bugatti (Sec. XXI) by ItaliaPasta Museum

“Ricciolo” colander, stainless steel, Bugatti home, Teseo Berghella design, 21st century.

Scolapasta 20 in resina rossa Guzzini (Sec. XXI) by ItaliaPasta Museum

Linked at the pasta preparation, the colander is also the protagonist of the advertising communication, that underlines, often with irony, its role.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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