Pasta. Just pasta.

It will come as no surprise that I'm surrounded by pasta everywhere I look here in Italy. Yes, there's coffee and cheese and prosciutto and . . . well, there's just a lot of food! Or maybe it just seems that way to me.

It's hard not to want to try every pasta - what can I learn from this one? What is the texture like? What flavors and shapes are available? How do they package or serve it? I did come to Italy for vacation but I can't help but absorb all sorts of new ideas to bring back to Garden of Esther.

While in Milan, I went to this little pasta shop: I Sapori della Pasta. I found them on Instagram and had to come check them out.

Pretty much all they sell is pasta! Can you imagine? (I'm imagining a Garden of Esther store right now!)

Those rigatoni look a little like my beet rigatoni, don't they? And look at those big short tubes, to the right of the gnocchi. You don't see that in the United States.

That tagliatelle reminds me of my tagliatelle - one of the first shapes I was making.

I even got to meet the owner, Christina!

You didn't think I'd leave without eating any, did you? We ate in but take out was an option, too.

Branzino and shrimp ravioli with fish ragu

All that freshly grated cheese - yum!

Paccheri with eggplant and ricota salata

This is one of the amazing things about eating in Italy. It's nearly impossible to get a bad meal. Even unassuming places, like this tiny little pasta shop, take care to serve the most delicious foods. And you see a lot of places that just do one thing - just meat, or just coffee, or, like here, just pasta.

In the US, most restaurants and grocery stores seem to want to serve every possible food but here food purveyors here specialize. And you know what happens? The food is 1,000X better.

Maybe the food tastes better because I'm on vacation. But I think there's more to it than that. If every community had a pasta shop, a baker, a butcher, a produce vendor, etc., each specializing in what they do best, we'd all be eating a whole lot better.

Wait! That does exist at home - it's called The Farmers Market! And you'll see me there in November, alongside all the other specializers in and around Vero Beach who are committed to providing you with the highest quality, best tasting food. And it's way closer than Italy.

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