The NYTimes loves our Farmers

Pasta al pomodoro is seen as Italy’s “symbol of national identity par excellence.” And yet the dish as first encountered by most Americans [is made with] neither fresh nor canned whole tomatoes but mass-produced spaghetti sauce from a jar. For almost as long as spaghetti with tomato sauce has been eaten in America, people have sought shortcuts.

The New York Times ditched the shortcuts to dig deeper and learn the stories of the Italian families who have pasta al pomodoro written in their DNA. The extremely talented Ligaya Mishan went to Campania with a mission: meeting the farmers and food makers who dedicate their lives to the artisanal production of pasta and tomatoes.

The NYT chose to visit:
🍅 Sabatino Abagnale and his Miracolo di San Gennaro tomatoes,
🍅 Pasquale Imperato and his Piennolo tomatoes,
🍝 the Faella family and their pastificio in Gragnano.

It might appear that these farmers, working small plots of land with limited yields, are doomed idealists, clinging to a lost past and, implicitly, a lost cause. But […] a tomato grown in one place by one person at one time that could taste only like this, an earthy-sweet gush and then a lingering, steadying bitterness, reminds you that certain pleasures are worth whatever they cost, and that nothing will ever taste quite like this again.

The Faella fam, farmers Pasquale and Sabatino “have made a choice: not to hurry, not to pursue ever greater efficiency, not to make more money. Which goes against the grain of our time, and so reads like defiance.” They’re our heroes, all we stand for, always have and always will. And we are forever inspired and energized by the poetic description that Ligaya and the NYT put into the world. These traditional foods would disappear if nobody told their stories. GRAZIE!

Read the article online or run to the newsstands this Sunday 5/19 to get the paper!