La Semola2019-11-29T15:39:41+00:00


History and Tradition

The Setaccioro pasta factory is set up in Cava de ‘Tirreni, an ancient and historic city made up of around 20 hamlets that give to the city  the shape of a star. This historical city is surrounded by the Picentini and Lattari Mountains, which allows access to the breathtaking landscape of  both the Sorrento and Amalfi coasts, where ,the smell of typical Amalfitan  lemons combine with the salty aroma of the sea air.

Cava de ‘Tirreni is a city with a strong commercial vocation. It has its roots in the fifteenth century, a period in which many shops of artisans and small traders populated the famous  “Borgo Scacciaventi”, which is now the oldest part of the historic city centre.

The growth of the “Metellian” city reached its peak in the first half of the 20th century. The particular  location of this historic city is blessed by amazing landscapes, mild climate and both urban and industrial development. This has made Cava de ‘Tirreni, in the last few decades, one of the most popular tourist destinations known not only nationally, but internationally.

In 1898 Andrea Sprecher decided to carry on the nineteenth-century tradition that sees the preparation of “maccaroni” in some highstreet shops. He was fascinated by the way in which the, pasta is dried by hanging it from the beams of shop doorways, and decided to build a pasta factory in Atenolfi street where this method could be facilitated..

Our factory was built at the same time as the Sprecher pasta factory, and it  was first called “Biscottificio Bisogno” and then became “Marcantonio Ferro e Figli, molino, pastificio e mangimificio”.  At the time the factory was located in Corso Giuseppe Mazzini, where the production of pasta, flour, semolina and excellent quality food were first produced, and later  distributed in our peninsula as well as overseas.

Quite fragmentary news returns the names of other metelliani pasta factories. Among these, we have the Pastificio Apicella in whose local, on Corso Umberto I, around 1934 the Metelliano Theater was built, while, in Passiano there was the Senatore pasta factory.

Sprecher’s choice was due to a variety of important factors, such as: the climate, the level of humidity that guarantees gradual and constant drying, temperature and wind. All these elements fit together perfectly for an excellent drying process of the dough.

A popular belief of the nearby town of Gragnano, a well-known city of pasta and the home of the Metellian pasta tradition, , is that pasta might be mixed with the sirocco* and dries with the mistral*, but obviously there are no fixed parameters.

Many recipes have been handed down by the expert pasta makers of the Metellian tradition, such as: “to cook one kilogram of pasta it is necessary to boil eight liters of water in a container with a capacity of about ten liters. When the water has come to the boil, throw in the pasta and sixty grams of cooking salt. Keep the water always boiling and test the pasta from time to time. When it is cooked, according to taste (preferably al dente), remove it from the heat, drain it with a colander and pour your favorite sauce on it”.

*Sirocco is a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and can reach  Southern Europe, especially during the summer season.

*Mistral is a strong, cold, northwesterly wind that blows from southern France into the Gulf of Lion in the northern Mediterranean.