(This column originally appeared in the January 2016 issue of Refreshed Magazine)
Over the holidays I noticed a new product on my grocery store shelf: half-sized spaghetti. It’s basically plain spaghetti, but half the length of regular spaghetti and touted as the “perfect size for any pot” because there’s no need to break it in half.
At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, have we become so lazy as Americans that we can’t break our own pasta in half?
I posted that sentiment, along with a photo of the box of spaghetti, on my Facebook page. My intent was to generate discussion about the way we rely on convenience items and technology to do everyday things we really should be doing ourselves. I’m not even talking about things like relying on GPS instead of reading a map. I’m talking about using electric staplers and wearing self-tying sneakers.
The little rant made sense to me, so imagine my surprise when instead of people talking about the laziness of half-sized spaghetti, I was hit with a barrage of replies that all shared the same message: Never break the pasta.
Yes, dear readers, the fact that we’re too lazy to break our own spaghetti is a far less serious offense than the fact that anyone would dare to break spaghetti in the first place.
The debate over pasta size included comments from my friend, Bob, who regularly cooks a variety of delicious-looking Italian dishes for his family and shares the photos on social media.
“Never break the pasta,” he wrote. When I asked why, he replied, “You’re not supposed to break it.”
For the record, I don’t break the pasta; I know not to do that. But why am I not supposed to do that? I asked the question again and again, and dozens of people responded. The conversations went something like this: Continue reading