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View Poll Results: Do you break your spaghetti/linguine prior to cooking?
Yes, almost always or always 27 35.06%
No, never or barely ever 41 53.25%
Less than 50% of the time 6 7.79%
More than 50% of the time 3 3.90%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-02-2012, 04:14 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
You're making me nervous, Addie. First you invite wild bears into your home then you sing polkas to pasta.
I also sing Latin Hymns while I am doing dishes. I just figure at my age I can do anything I want to. Thanks for the big laugh.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:35 PM   #72
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You're making me nervous, Addie. First you invite wild bears into your home then you sing polkas to pasta.


My cat is looking at me like I'm nuts.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #73
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As you can see from my avatar...I do enjoy my spaghetti...still.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by kadesma View Post
Most Italians don't use a spoon either. They would look at you with amusement in their eyes if you tried to use a spoon. I know my late m-i-l told me ever so politely don't do that!!!!. Never tried it again after the first time.
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That twirling the spaghetti on the spoon always looked awkward to me. I've never done that. I think Emily Post would agree with me that manners are always about avoiding awkwardness. If it's awkward don't do it.

I never broke any spaghetti. Sometimes it doesn't fit in my boiling pot. I stick in whatever fits and poke it again in a minute or so, at which point it's limp enough to all curl in.

There is no need to make this complicated. If you want short spaghetti then break it. I never saw that need. It might even be easier to curl one or two strands and poke a meatball with long spaghetti, than managing several maverick strands.

And while we're at it, how about discussing meatball size? I recently enjoyed dinner cooked by an authentic home chef from Italy, and she cooked the most humongous meatballs I've ever seen, about 2" to 2-1/2" in diameter. I'd cook them myself single bite size, but I'm pretty sure her style is authentic. I had to cut each meatball with fork and knife before I could bite it. I would have preferred smaller meatballs, perhaps 1" size.

In the end you just have to cook this stuff (strand length, meatball size) to suit yourself. There are no rules beyond doing what you like. Except from Emily Post: don't look awkward when you eat it.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:55 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
In some cultures the knife is held in the dominant hand during the course of a meal. Such a custom makes it pretty difficult to use a fork and spoon simultaneously.
Although I don't condone curling spaghetti with fork and spoon, you hold your fork in your dominant hand and spoon in subdominent hand. There is no problem with the knife because you don't need it when eating spaghetti.

Yet that was part of my post above. If the meatballs are too large you need to use knife and fork to cut them into bite size. Then you shift the fork from subdominant hand to dominant hand to pick up spaghetti and meatball and consume it. Much easier if there is no knife required and then your dominant hand can handle all the action forking the meatball and spaghetti into your mouth.

Your subdominant hand can be used for gesturing or guzzling.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:24 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
That twirling the spaghetti on the spoon always looked awkward to me. I've never done that. I think Emily Post would agree with me that manners are always about avoiding awkwardness. If it's awkward don't do it.

I never broke any spaghetti. Sometimes it doesn't fit in my boiling pot. I stick in whatever fits and poke it again in a minute or so, at which point it's limp enough to all curl in.

There is no need to make this complicated. If you want short spaghetti then break it. I never saw that need. It might even be easier to curl one or two strands and poke a meatball with long spaghetti, than managing several maverick strands.

And while we're at it, how about discussing meatball size? I recently enjoyed dinner cooked by an authentic home chef from Italy, and she cooked the most humongous meatballs I've ever seen, about 2" to 2-1/2" in diameter. I'd cook them myself single bite size, but I'm pretty sure her style is authentic. I had to cut each meatball with fork and knife before I could bite it. I would have preferred smaller meatballs, perhaps 1" size.

In the end you just have to cook this stuff (strand length, meatball size) to suit yourself. There are no rules beyond doing what you like. Except from Emily Post: don't look awkward when you eat it.
EP be hanged, if it works for you go with it. my grand kids like their getti short so I cut it after plating it. makes more work but the smiles are worth it. Just do what you want and let others do the same
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:30 PM   #77
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Well I think Emily Post was right. I think manners are all about not appearing awkward. Anything you do is fine if you can do it without sticking your elbow in your eye or in your fellow diners' eyes. Or the converse, if you hold every utensil in the correct hand and still appear awkward then you're doing something wrong.

Manners is always about appearing comfortable and facile. Nobody looks at you if you accomplish that. Everybody looks at you when bits and drops of food fly off and tableware falls on the floor.

I don't subscribe to her book but I do subscribe to the idea of not appearing awkward. That's IMO what manners are all about. You are at ease and you put your fellow diners at ease. To me that is the essence of manners.

And no, my little finger never sticks out.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:33 PM   #78
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I solve the happy kid problem by giving my grandson forkable pasta shapes like penne. No twirling necessary.

Of course, that's really because I'd like him to feed himself without my having to clean the kitchen after he eats.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:35 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
I am with you on that Andy. You can't put pasta in the pot and then walk away. You have to keep stirring it until it is all under water. Then return several times during the cooking time. You pasta should be dancing in the boiling water. If you can sing a nice polka, your pasta should be dancing in step with your singing. (Well it works for me!)
I prefer "'O sole mio."
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:17 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
I am with you on that Andy. You can't put pasta in the pot and then walk away. You have to keep stirring it until it is all under water. Then return several times during the cooking time. You pasta should be dancing in the boiling water. If you can sing a nice polka, your pasta should be dancing in step with your singing. (Well it works for me!)
I always use the pot in the photo to cook all of my short and long pasta (height 5.8 inches -this is the eight of the "body" without the inner colander-, diameter 8.5 inches). I obviously adjust the amount of water depending on the quantity and type of pasta.



Short pasta I don't need to stir it so much, I just keep the water boiling and stir two or three times. Long pasta: I put the long pasta in the boiling water, after about a minute I gently stir the pasta to completely submerge it, after about a minute I stir it again, then I leave on its own in the boiling water, with just another stirring towards the end. Sometimes I stir it just for the pleasure of fiddling with my food
I never had any problem in preparing a good piatto di pasta, even without so much emphasis on stirring. I think you just need a proper pot, good old boiling water, high quality pasta brand and a good choice of Italian opera arias to sing along (): according to a recent scientific study by the MIT (Mad Italians Tablespoons), Italian pasta dances better in the water with Italian music.

Buon appetito!
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