"Artisanal" Pasta..disappearing from shelves at Arthur Avenue markets???
- erica Dec 2, 2012 04:55 AM
After sampling probably every variety of dried pasta on offer at New York area markets over many years, I have settled on a few favorites imported brands. These include, but are not limited to: Giiuseppe Cocco, Benedetto Cavalieri, Gragnanese. When my own pantry supplies run low, I head to Arthur Avenue where I was always able to find these and other good-quality dried pasta in dozens of sizes and shapes for prices that rarely reached $4 for a 1lb/500gr. bag or box.
Imagine my disappointment, my alarm, when I arrived at Teitel early yesterday to find that the entire back wall, where those brands and others, used to reside, only to find almost the entire area taken up by DeCecco pastas, along with boxes of panettone. They still had a few varieties of the high-quality imports, but the variety was vastly shrunken since my last visit a few months ago.
I did buy a few bags of Giuseppe Cocco spaghetti and linguine at Teitel (where the prices are about the best in the area) before wandering along the strip to my other usual sources. No luck! At every place I tried, the higher quality brands ahd been replaced by imported "industrial" dried pastas. The only place that I found a decent selection was at Tino's market, which sells Rustichella d'Abruzzo for prices in the range of $6-$7 per bag...much higher than I usually pay for my favored brands. (I think Tino's charges high prices in general, so I was not surprised and only visited them as a last resort)
I asked a few vendors about this and I received several variations on the reasonn why the selections had changed. The vendor in the retail market told me that they sell what they are sent (??); the lovely guy at Teitel told me that he had to make way for Panettone, and one place told me that the more expensive brands just do not sell.
So, other than order by mail, or pay the very high premium charged by Eataly and Murray's (they carry Martelli, a favorite of mine), is there any hope?
re: rose water
Yes! Borgatti is the first place I looked, since I was there for their incomparable fresh pasta! I used to buy Cocco and Gragnanese there; yesterday they had NONE of the top-quality dried pasta on the shelf on the right as you walk in, but a lot of the less expensive imported brands.
You'll pay more, but I spotted a goodly selection at Chelsea Market last weekend. Back of the store.