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I like pasta!

I’ve always preferred rice over any type of noodles or pasta, but I’ve grown quite fond of pasta lately.  For a recent pasta tasting, I had to do some reading on pasta and ended up really hooked on it.  My favorite way to eat pasta is to saute some garlic in olive oil, add al dente pasta in it, grate some parmigiano reggiano, add a few drops of good balsamic vinegar, toss the whole thing with Halen Mon salt and pepper.  Simple and lovely…sigh.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about pasta, I highly recommend Pasta: the Story of a Universal Food by Silvano Serventi and Françoise Sabban:


The book is divided into a longer part on western pasta followed by a shorter part on Chinese noodles.  It focuses mostly on the history of it all but doesn’t fail to include fun factoids like, Casanova had such a tasty pasta dish and was so satiated that he could not perform the act of love.  Yeah, that is all it comes down to for me to judge a book, fun factoids.  Keeps things lively.

Pasta also inspires.  Apparently there were many a pasta eating club in Casanova’s day, so called “Macaronic Academies” of “bon vivants who were also men of letters”.  To be accepted into this club, one was required to “improvise macaronic verse and…to eat large portions of macaroni.”  Macaronic verse, I love that.  Combine improvising ten stanzas with eating lots of pasta?  These jolly nerds knew how to party, I say.

I now leave you with an ancient Chinese poem on bing (that is noodles).  When asked by the emperor on the best autumnal dish, his respected chief cook Cheng Ji responds:

We are in the second month of autumn,

The songs of the crickets will soon fall silent,

Dawn is stirred by a faint breeze,

The nights are cool.

In these circumstances,

I can only say one word: bing!

Fine as jade powder from Huashan,

White as silver paste from Liangfu,

Their aroma will inebriate you before you lift them to your lips

And your heart will pound at the mere sight of them.


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