I came across this article from The New York Times that talks about some restaurants start to serve and market pastas that are made of 100% Italian grown durum wheat, versus the usual 70% proportion. Two local examples they highlighted that these pasta is available is Rainbow in SF and iTalico in Palo Alto.
The question is for the pasta connoisseurs- does it make a difference, in taste and texture?
I probably should find out about iTalico’s pasta given its not far from me. But I had an incorrectly cooked meal at their sister restaurant Terun across the street and a meh takeout app from iTalico. So the question is whether 100% Italian wheat is pure marketing gimmick or whether the wheat ‘terroir’ matters. I am inclined to think that a strong kitchen can make a decent pasta shine, and that sauces, especially strong ones, may mask the smaller differences of the wheat. But I’d love to hear your opinions.
A couple of quotes from the article:
“We don’t necessarily consider Italian durum wheat to be the best,”
“PrimoGrano is softer, and tasty, like bread,”
ETA: Not saying pasta quality doesn’t make a difference to a dish, of course. It does. Just wondering whether 100% Italian durum is enough to make a noticeable difference.
The article mentions availability in NYC at certain Dean & DeLuca shops (Rustichella d’Abruzzo Primo Grano), and Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria (Mancini pasta).