Noodle used

I have a medium-size stockpot, used mostly for boiling water into which pasta will be dumped. The diameter of this pot is approximately 0.3 inch less than the length of typical spaghetti-like substances. In days of old, I would break the rods in two in an effort to get them to fit. The trouble with that, of course, is that you can’t actually break them in two: invariably a third piece is formed, and sometimes a fourth. Unable to explain this phenomenon, I started pushing one end of the handful of spaghetti against the bottom of the pot while the water was boiling, and when the rods bent enough, following through with the rest. The results were slightly less satisfactory at precisely al dente, but it was better, I thought, than dealing with segments of random length, given my tendency to roll the stuff onto the fork.

At long last, there’s an explanation for where that third piece comes from:

Maybe I should just get a bigger pot and be done with it.

(Via Sploid.)



  1. McGehee »

    30 December 2014 · 8:15 am

    For an individual piece, I wonder how much the flexing — and thus the secondary fractures — can be minimized simply by placing your hands closer together.

    Unfortunately even if it worked you’d still have to repeat the process for each piece.

    Maybe someone could invent a spaghetti chainsaw.

  2. Roger Green »

    30 December 2014 · 10:05 am

    At least when breaking a bunch of dry spaghetti, putting my hands closer makes it harder to break altogether. Anyway, FASCINATING stuff!

  3. McGehee »

    30 December 2014 · 10:41 am

    I find that close-together holding of a bundle of spaghetti still results in more than two pieces per strand anyway.

  4. Tatyana »

    30 December 2014 · 11:21 am

    But why would you want to buy another, bigger pot? I thought it’s the standard way to cook spaghetti, by curving them in hot water.
    At least that’s what I’ve been doing, and no regrets

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