Years ago I was walking through my neighborhood (New York's Little Italy) and stopped to wait for the light to change on the corner of Grand and Mulberry. Suddenly I heard a voice coming from above: "Hey mister! Mister! Hey mister!"
I looked up to see a middle-aged Italian woman in a house dress, rollers in her hair, unabashedly leaning out of the window. It was straight out of an old commercial, and I felt certain she was going to ask me if I knew what made her Alfredo sauce so creamy.
Instead she said "Can you throw these in the box?" and dropped a rubber-banded bundle of letters two stories down to me. I caught it, looked around and deposited it in the mailbox on the corner. "Thank youuuuu!" she called, and shut the window. I found it kind of disappointing.
Why am I telling you this? To explain that I have been conditioned, by watching the commercials of my youth, to believe that Italian food products are handmade by warm-hearted people with ebullient personalities. It's a total stereotype of course, I have no idea if that woman even knew how to cook.
Anyways I thought of this as I came across this video. It's footage of pasta company Roma Prince's automated factory in Costa Rica producing lasagna at an industrial scale:
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As mesmerizing and artfully-shot as the footage is, I found it depressing that human beings don't even show up until the end. I also found it sad to watch because I'm trying to quit processed carbohydrates, which I love. But that's another story.