No Food Can Compare
“You want pasta for breakfast? You eat so much pasta you’ll turn into spaghetti,” my grandmother responded with a smile after I told her that I wanted pasta for breakfast. “Are you sure you don’t want pancakes or cereal?” She knew my answer.
This wasn’t new, getting teased about my pasta addiction. I didn’t really care. Pasta was my way to experiment, my way to be a kid. I enjoyed that there were unlimited possibilities, I could blend sauces, add spices, cheese, make my own dish. For me, no two bowls were alike.
The tanginess of a marinara sauce, the smooth creaminess of an alfredo sauce, the sharp spice of arrabiata that would dance on my palate. Twirling spaghetti around my fork, scooping off sauce from the bottom of my bowl, no food could compare. Still, my family insisted, “How about you try a hamburger, rice and beans, chicken, pork chops?” They knew the answer. At that time, around when I was seven or eight, about ninety percent of my meals were pasta.
They didn’t understand. I thought I was doing what they were saying, trying new things. I was just doing it my own way. I was looking for the perfect bowl of pasta, going to different restaurants, trying different recipes and combinations. Looking back I see that my pasta pursuit was somewhat single minded, but at the time it didn’t feel that way. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with enjoying and experimenting with my favorite food. Even though it seemed odd, it made me happy.
My family eventually gave in. I remember on at least two occasions receiving pasta presents. My aunt gave me a twelve pack, variety box of pasta from Italy and my grandmother, a quart of special marinara sauce from her local Italian market.
I now have a wide range of foods and cuisines I enjoy, but to my family I will always be the same little kid who would gleam ear to ear when a bowl of pasta was placed in front of him. It was difficult for me to leave the comfort of pasta and all it meant to me. It was something that I wanted to hold on to, a part of my childhood and a piece of my identity with my family. They loved me for being the pasta kid; I didn’t want that to change.
Even now at seventeen years old, pasta is still my favorite. Now it’s more than just about the taste and searching for the perfect dish. A warm bowl of pasta brings back the warm family memories. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by your loved ones, sharing a laugh and reminiscing with people that love and care for who you are. That’s why there’s nothing like a bowl of pasta.
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