In praise of local pasta makers
comment Comment Written by on September 30, 2010 – 10:00 pm

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Following on for a recent article about food shopping in Buenos Aires, I want to give a shout out to my local pasta maker, Impacto Fabrica de Pastas (Carranza 1953).

Not long ago I was talking to an Argentinian friend, who like so many others has Italian heritage. He told me how his mum was always making her own pasta. I confessed I’d never made pasta in my life. For me, ‘cooking pasta at home’ always meant just tipping brittle bow shapes out of a plastic bag.

But here in Argentina ‘pasta casera’ really does mean homemade pasta.

Impacto has a rolling machine (a bit like a large electric mangle) in the corner. They’ll serve various styles (spaghetti, ravioli), which you can dress any way you wish, or you can buy a pot of one of their sauces.

Earlier this week, when I knew I was going to be too busy to cook, I popped by to pick up some ricotta cannelloni (canelones). Smothered in white and tomato sauce, they cost me 10 pesos (£1.60) and was much more satisfying that your average supermarket ready meal.

Having been in business for almost 40 years, Impacto seems to do a good trade from catering orders and (free) home delivery, but I wonder how long these traditional independents can survive somewhere like Palermo.

I recently went away for two months. When I came back my block had a new boutique hotel and a new organic restaurant. That’s just in one block. It would take all day to note all the other changes the last two months have brought in Palermo alone.

And as for the inflation, that’s also a worrying phenomenon. According to an article in today’s Nacion, a shopping basket of branded goods now costs 6% more than it did this time last month.

A similar article in Clarin last week said a mid-price parrilla dinner had gone up 30% in the past year. I’m a little skeptical as to how scientific this survey was, but it’s quite clear that prices are rocketing.

Back in Impacto, they are moving with the times in other ways. As I handed over my 10 pesos, I noticed a little scrap of paper attached to the till: @impactopastas . Yes, my little local pasta shop is now on Twitter.

Photo: Wiki commons ravioli shot by Fugzu

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