Monday, January 26, 2009

Macaroni Reaches a Rolling Boil on Wall Street

Tech stocks may have been the darlings of Wall Street in the late 1990s, but considering the sad state of the American economy, macaroni is here to stay.

Forget the low-carb and protein fads of recent years, and jump on the pasta bandwagon. Consumers are now rediscovering casseroles, soup, spaghetti, and the all time favorite, macaroni and cheese; as well as nourishing cuisine at inexpensive restaurants like the New Hampshire-based Portsmouth Loaf and Ladle.

The American Italian Pasta Company (AIPC) of Kansas, and New World Pasta of Harrisburg, PA, are experiencing record sales.

New World Pasta is a leading marketer and supplier of dry pasta and noodles in the United States, and dry pasta, noodles, and rice in Canada.

AIPC stocks have risen on word that the economy sucks, but you can still feed a small family of four on just $5 a day with pasta dishes. AIPC stock closed at $23.73 last Friday, exceeding Wall Street expectations.

These days, all you need to survive are garlic, grated cheese, herbs, macaroni, olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, some green peppers, salt, tomato paste, tomatoes, a little Lambrusco, and meh! Who needs prime rib, right?

I wanted to test the $5 theory, so I went to my favorite shopping area in South Philadelphia, the Italian Market. I bought some cheese, Italian bread, olive oil, and pasta at Claudio’s; olive salad at DiBruno’s; some spice at the Spice Corner; produce at some of the open vendor stands along 9th street; and some meat at Esposito’s. I spent about $40, excluding the gallon can of olive oil, and had enough food for eight dinners. Of course, the trade-off was I had to make my own gravy – a five-hour process.

I ran into our local Moloch doctor, Mrs. Giordano, coming out of Fante’s. She still likes to buy expensive coffee beans, but chintzes on the antipasto.

“Ma! Barack he hasa big money problems,” She said. “Itsa gonna take sixa months to remova da ‘evil eye’ froma da stock market.”

“Buona giornata” (Have a nice day), I said, as she proceeded to walk down Washington Avenue, bloviating in Pugliese, while simultaneously cussing in American Sign Language.

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