Sunday, January 7, 2007

Pasta Maker Quest

After reading several books on pasta and doing some searching on the web, I determined that there are generally two hand-crank pasta makers that are the best, the Atlas and the Imperia. So this week, as an anniversary gift from my husband, we went on a quest for a pasta maker.

Now, that might sound grammatically incorrect, like the quest was the anniversary gift. But there is no error in grammar here. Truly, the quest was all we ended up with. So far.

Together with my long-suffering husband, I searched EIGHT kitchen supply stores or stores that featured very large kitchen departments, including one home/kitchen/bath supply mega store, one department store, one kitchen appliance store, one specialty imports store, two high-end discount stores, and two small kitchen specialty shops.

Ironically, it was at the second small kitchen specialty shop, just fifteen minutes from my very rural country home, that I found not one, but three brands of pasta makers in several different package choices. Unfortunately, they were all about twenty dollars higher than I had found them to be suggested during my online searches.

I really struggled with this, standing in the aisle debating about whether to buy one immediately for the higher price and have pasta steaming on the table by dinnertime, or go home and do some online shopping where shipping might negate the savings and I'd have to wait a week.

While staring googly-eyed at the choices and trying to make a decision, another more seasoned couple entered the pasta-maker zone. They hadn't done much research, they said, but the did have an electric pasta maker, and it wasn't worth a darn, they said, so they wanted a hand-crank (this confirmed what I'd read about the bread-machine-like pasta machines). They did know, however, that the Imperia brand, the one I was leaning very heavily towards, was the one they'd heard was the best.

My husband and I determined to buy the model I thought I wanted--the Imperia with just one cutter for $59.99--try it, and return it if it didn't work the way I had hoped. Unfortunately, the store had a no-return policy on items that had been used, which is perfectly understandable but didn't help my decision too much.

Then again, I suppose it did.

I decided that, since these pasta makers were just minutes from my home, I would go home and do some more research and return if I found that I couldn't purchase these more reasonably online. Part of me feels badly about doing this; I should support local businesses--especially ones that carry otherwise hard-to-find items. Part of me feels badly about the idea of spending an extra $20 on something when that money could be better spent.

Eventually, my husband found a variety of both makes of pasta makers on eBay and we're currently watching several of them. The prices for them this way were decidedly cheaper--along the lines of thirty dollars cheaper, including shipping.

So I guess I have to wait.

After all, this cooking blog is about slowing down, isn't it?

1 comment:

jill said...

You were right to do a little more research. If the difference had been, say $5, then buying locally would have been the better deal without a doubt but $20...that's a whole lot of something like cheese or apples.

When the time is right, one will come. Remember that.