The Spaghetti Cone: Is It Really Easier Than Eating From a Plate?
With this one-of-a-kind street-food, you don’t have to doodle with your noodles to get them into your mouth.
Chef Emanuele Attala is credited with inventing the street-friendly Pizza Cone at his restaurant, The Spaghetti Incident, on Manhattan’s hard-partying Lower East Side.
If you’re a baby, you can eat spaghetti with your fingers and no one will judge you. As you get older, you’re expected to eat it with a fork, twirling the droopy noodles around the tines before deftly inserting it into your mouth without leaving a speck of sauce on your chin.
But if you’re a customer at the Spaghetti Incident on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, you can eat it from a go-cone and feel superior to all others.
That’s because, according to Dave Bry of The Guardian, a cardboard cone is “an ideal delivery system for spaghetti. Better even … than a ceramic plate or bowl.”
Reportedly invented by Chef Emanuele Attala, Ettore Pardossi and Giovanni Gentile, co-owners of The Spaghetti Incident on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Spaghetti Cone has been described as a miracle of culinary physics. Attala hit upon the idea after looking at old photos of his hometown, Rimini, located on Italy’s Adriatic coast, taken in the aftermath of WWII. Locals at that time had begun throwing beach festivals to spur tourism and restart the post-war economy. “Vendors set up booths on the sand, there were bonfires and concerts, and the butchers and fishmongers would rip sheets of wax paper off their rolls, curl them into a cone and serve food out of them like a bowl. Strolling partiers took their meals to go.”
The Spaghetti Incident owners realized that spaghetti cones would make a fine addition to Manhattan’s thriving nightlife, with famished clubbers staggering along the streets into the wee hours. “Eating spaghetti out of a cone is, oddly, easier than eating it from a plate,” The Spaghetti Incident’s website claims. “This is because of the well-known ‘twirl method’ that sophisticated humans have learned to use to eat pasta. The cone shape facilitates the trick by giving natural purchase to the tines of the fork as they twist. The curved sides of the cone help guide the strands of spaghetti into a ball around the fork. The twirl negates the need for spearing any bit of food with the fork.”
Think that’s all there is to it? Wrong! “The cone also provides advantages in maneuverability,” the website continues. “The pointy end serves as a handle for a bowl. You can hold it right under your fork as you lift each bite to your lips, so as not to lose a single caper to the sidewalk. It makes for remarkably neat, spill-free eating.”
The Spaghetti Incident offers a range of spaghetti-based dishes, including Chitarra, Puttanesca, Carbonara, Ragu Bolognese and Kale Pesto, all available in a go-cone for the hurried and hungry. Prices range between $11 and $14.
Bry writes that Attala also tried serving penne and gnocchi in a cone, but it didn’t work ‘because there is no flat surface against which to pin your target. Nothing else eats so easily out a cone. What I’m saying is: The spaghetti cone is a miracle of physics.”
Even so, Bry writes that eating from a spaghetti cone “is a two-hand job,” and the invention is no match for a folded slice of pizza. “But I’ll take a spaghetti cone over a falafel or a burrito or a wrap, convenience-wise, any day. I’ve never eaten any one of those items on the street without dumping half of it out on to my arm and my clothes and the ground … Spaghetti, as it turns out, is a truly wonderful thing to be eating on the sidewalk, at midnight, out of a cone.”