Monday, April 06, 2009

Reflections on Bowtie Pasta

I had a frozen Bowtie Pasta Entree today for lunch, specifically Safeway Select Bowtie Pasta Pepperonata. Tasty, but thought-provoking. Because really, why does pasta need to be bowtie shaped? It doesn't change the flavor any. You could substitute linguine and it would be the exact same dish.

Bowtie pasta is a fin-de-siecle kind of move, the last gasp of creativity in a genre which has been mined clean already. Pasta's golden age was waning and chefs were wracking their brains for a new innovation. They gave up, tried again, gave up again, then maybe one was making squares for ravioli and pinched one by mistake. He thought, "well, I guess this kinda looks like a bow tie. What the hell, maybe there's money in this." Indeed there was, but there shouldn't be.

I'm concious of this because the play I'm in, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, is running through the end of the month and we're all walking that tightrope between refining what we're doing to get bigger laughs and going straight for the laugh at the expense of charm. It's even more relevant because we got a good review in the LA Times which cited the charm as the reason to see what is essentially a community theatre show. Like the bowtie pasta, we could wind up with something elaborate, even popular, but completely unneeded.


wamk (Vegas, baby!) said...

You can make the same argument/point with Mexican food. It's all made with ground beef, lettuce, cheese, and tomatos.

Is there really a difference between a tostada and a taco?

Danielk said...

Ain't it the truth. And at Taco Bell, the double decker taco, which is a taco surrounded by a layer of refried beans and another taco shell - 'nuff said.

wamk said...

Have you seen the bit on SNL of the taco stuffed in a taco, rolled in a pizza, etc?

Quite good.

Publius said...

By the way, I would never ride a fin-de-siecle. Why get a foreign bike when you can ride a Harley?

Danielk said...

Though the name is foreign, the fin-de-siecle is manufactured here in the states by Pan Am.

Publius said...

Damn. I HATE this whole world economy crap. Next thing you'll tell me is that a GM isn't made in Detroit.