Are you feeling hungry? Have you tried bronze cut pasta? Let's go through what bronze cut pasta is and why you should try it out today.
Food and language grew up alongside each other as civilizations formed. The more food a culture could acquire, the longer they could stay in place and the more words they crafted to describe the experience. The language of food gained complexity, depth, savor.
Food words went from taste to smell to feel and beyond. To put it simply, the subtleties of language exist because of the subtleties of food. This brings us to the importance of bronze cut pasta.
As universal as food and language are, they also share a history of being carefully considered and prodded for intricacies. Scientists, culinary pioneers, and critics have considered put no small effort into unlocking the tiniest improvements in flavor, texture, longevity, and appeal.
What does food science have to do with what cuts a pasta? Surprisingly, a lot.
The smallest of changes to coatings and additives during drying yield results.
If small changes result in sizable differences, you'll probably also understand that changes to the core ingredients produce bigger effects.
Food, and especially the cooking of food, is all about chemistry. Every step taken in a kitchen manipulates the qualities of food. Food also happens to be pliable and durable. This gives it leeway in staying edible even when everything isn't perfect.
Of course, perfect is a matter of opinion as well.
Bronze Cut Pasta
All of which brings us to the core of what is important and special about bronze cut pasta. Also known as bronze die pasta, this distinction is in the material of the extruder used to shape the pasta.
Most mass-produced pasta goes through Teflon dies. These are easy to operate, easy to clean, and cheap to procure.
Teflon is an amazing chemical product used in a whole range of cooking supplies that facilitates heat transfer without adding tackiness to products. Teflon's structure yields tiny, compact pores that keep materials from gripping it.
When used to produce pasta, a Teflon die creates uniform, sleek pasta. That sounds like an ideal result but pasta itself isn't eaten solo but with some kind of coating. Whether it be a dressing for a pasta salad or a sauce for a big bowl of carby-goodness, you want the coating to stick.
Teflon die pasta simply leaves far more of the sauce on the plate than in your face.
Bronze cut pasta creates small imperfections and rough textures in the pores of pasta, resulting in a rougher, porous, grippier pasta.
Now, you might be concerned about the texture of a more porous pasta. Won't that soak up more water in the boiling process? Won't that bloat and get starchy or start to come apart?
The texture of the best bronze cut pasta doesn't change significantly from Teflon varieties. Your cook times, heat, and shape all remain consistent, if virtually indistinguishable, from one die material to the next.
The resulting texture isn't large enough to be felt by the tongue. The impact on the emulsions of a sauce are a different story.
Pasta owes a lot of its structure to the protein bonds of the underlying wheat. This is one reason that you see such a wide difference in tastes and compositions from wheat, durum wheat, and semolina wheat.
These protein bonds are strong enough to keep the pasta strands together even with small porous imperfections added by the extruder material. While the water solubility of a substance depends in part on the surface area, the overall additional surface area to protein bond isn't significant enough to result in mushy pasta.
Softer kinds of wheat are far more likely to result in mush than the material of the die. These feature less density in the protein strands.
The drying process for pasta also has a direct and large impact on usability later. The reason for the popularity of dried, boxed pasta comes down to how consistently they cook and how well they react to additional elements in sauce.
Homemade, freshly rolled and fresh-cut pasta all sounds higher quality, and it is, to an extent. However, it's also a crapshoot of small imperfections and uneven distribution of proteins that dried pasta smooths out.
Price to Quality
Bronze cut pasta costs a touch more than their Teflon cut cousins. The material for the die is more expensive and needs to be replaced more often, after all.
The resulting quality is superior for only a fraction of an increase.
Every ingredient used has some give and take in price and expectation of quality. Some people would never touch a wine from an unfamiliar vintner but will struggle to save a dime between two brands of canned goods.
The quality difference between a bronze cut and Teflon cut pasta is far more substantial.
Shape and Form
One reason that different pasta shapes exist is to facilitate different uses.
Looking at something like spaghetti versus bucatini, that little extra surface area makes a big difference for a cream sauce but less of one for a more acidic sauce that won't permeate.
The difference between fettucini and linguini comes down to a combination of surface area and pliability. Both make fine nests but of different sizes that frame a dish differently.
When making an upgrade to bronze cut pasta recipes, note where they ask for different proportions of some ingredients. Most sauce recipes have been steadily increasing in elements such as oils and tackier liquid thickeners to compensate for the poorer pasta grip of Teflon cut.
acid to your dish. You can even enjoy pickled garlic as a dessert when paired with fruit infused oils!
Only the Best
As with all things in the kitchen, your preference is what matters. The quality and rustic feel of bronze cut pasta certainly upgrades a well-guarded family recipe.
Of course, if you have some dedicated plate cleaners in your household, they'll not be disappointed, there will always be some pasta left on a plate. That's what bread is for.
Check out our robust offerings of bronze cut pasta and explore the difference it makes.