Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pasta: The Silliest Starch

My mind often wanders. More frequently than not, the paths and corridors it wanders down are the hidden, dusty, and overgrown passages overlooked by most, and, usually, deservedly so. Recently, I was considering the varieties of starches.

Think about all the different starches; You’ve got your bread; the staff of life, the humble rice, beer; the nectar of the gods, the noble potato, and Pasta.

It was Pasta that I got a bit hung up on.

Pasta is silly. Spaghetti, macaroni, ziti, shells. All those shapes. But in all sincerity, what the hell is the point of those shapes?

Spaghetti is too long! You need to break it to cook it, and cut it to eat it and you still end up with a marinara goatee! Macaroni. Elbows, that is. Why? Why make the things curly and hollow? It serves no function and it really must be an added step in the making stage that could be dropped! Ziti. Same thing. No point to the hollowness. It doesn’t improve the taste, doesn’t do diddley! And don’t get me started on those twisty, spiral doo-dads! Mama Mia! What a senseless display of forcing an identity. Form over function. Image eclipsing substance. So very Milli Vanilli.

The exception to this is Orzo! Orzo is a sensible pasta! Efficient, unassuming, rice-like in its simplicity. No flashy shapes saying, “Hey! Look at me! I must be tasty!” No twists, curves, squiggles, pockets, or flashing lights. Just functional; easy to cook, scoopably easy to handle, and easy to eat. 

Now, I know that those of the Italian persuasion out there who read this, (Ah, who am I kidding? Nobody reads this junk!) may get offended. There are even those who may claim that I am bad-mouthing an important cultural tradition and recognizable iconic symbol of their nationalism. Moreover, in this day and age, if I were someone of note or notoriety, (and again, if anyone ever read this crap,) anti-defamation groups might even insist on a public apology. This, however, they would not get until I got one for countless Prego shirt-stains, and chin-burns!

Orzo, and Orzo alone, deserves the right to sit among the great starches of the world. Bread, potatoes, rice, beer, and Orzo!

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