Welcome ladies and gentleman to the main event of the week! In the category of Culinary Boxing here at Chef’s Mandala, we have weighing in at 17.6 oz from the Repubblica Italiana, please welcome the Italian stallion of pasta – Il Grano (wheat)! His opponent, also weighing in at exactly 17.6 oz from Saskatchewan, please welcome Canadian wheat!
LET’S GET READY TO RRRRR…….HAVE A SPIRITED DEBATE ON FOOD!!!
In the Red Corner – CANADIAN PASTA WHEAT
Coming in at 26 million tonnes a year, Canada is the 6th largest wheat producer in the world. And it’s colder northern climates make it superb for growing better quality, higher protein wheats as well. Long demonized by Italian farmers, Canadian wheat has come to at last have its’ day in the sun!
In the Blue Corner – ITALIAN PASTA WHEAT
No country in the world has elevated an ingredient more than Italia. Wheat is the heart and soul of pasta. It is one of the few things northern and southern Italians can both passionately agree about. My region is better at this, your region is better at that, but all regions worship Italian pasta.
- The Play-By-Play
And the two fighters come out of their respective corners looking for blood! The Canadian fighter politely allows his Italian opponent to throw the first punch (not wanting to offend him). The Italian fighter throws it, having mastered using his hands to communicate rage since an early age. Oh, wait, the referee is stopping the fight. There appears to be an issue in the judges stand. The crowd is starting to boo. Hot dogs and beer are being thrown into the ring. Fights are breaking out in the stands! The ref is sending each contestant to a neutral corner, but it’s hard to hear what he’s saying over the rioting spectators.
AND THE WINNER IS….
Neither! Laboratory drug testing results came back late in the match. It appears that both fighters seem to be genetically related! Italian pasta producers have long known that Canadian durum wheat, being grown in a harsher more norther climate, can in small quantities give Italian pasta a backbone that is much harder and more expensive to get with Mediterranean grown wheat. And Italy is only able to grow about 60% of the wheat it uses. But while the Canadians might have great pasta wheat at a more competitive price, they don’t have the pasta making expertise that has made Italy reign supreme to this day. Made in Italy doesn’t mean grown in Italy any more than the car or house you buy had all its parts made domestically.