Wednesday, March 28, 2007

almost too cool


I've been wanting a chitarra (guitar) to make the square cut Abruzzese pasta alla chitarra for at least twenty years, but didn't get around to it until last month. The reason I shucked and jived for so long was that I assumed that it was going to be so expensive that I'd have to build it myself. Well duh. I suppose I should have actually tried to source one out. Because not only are they available, but they are cheap. I paid about 25 bucks for mine at Fantes.com. The thing is built too!

The frame is made from oak and the strings are fretted at each end on heavy cast-metal fret boards. The tension can be adjusted by two tightening bolts at one end. It also has two sets of cutting strings. One set cuts the pasta into thick spaghetti-like stands and the other into something close in width to angel-hair pasta.

The way you work it couldn't be simpler: roll out the past with a pin, lay the sheet on the wire, roll over it with the pin and bingo! your'e done. Bundle all of that with the fact that you can play it like an autoharp and it's almost too cool for words. (Makes me wonder where James Marshall Hendrix would be right now if his father had given him one of these for Christmas.)