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Megan McArdle

Why Is Italian Food So Amazing?

New Yorkers know. The rest of the U.S. deserves a taste of what the Italian diaspora brings with it.
Mmmmmm. Pasta.

Mmmmmm. Pasta.

Photographer: Joe Kohen/Getty Images

New York City, my birthplace, is ringed by Italian neighborhoods. Go to Staten Island, to the Bronx, to Long Island or to New Jersey -- it doesn’t really matter where you go, as long as you are within 50 miles of the Empire State Building. Within that fortunate circle, you will find that you are always reasonably close to a neighborhood, or at least a street, full of little stores and restaurants of unprepossessing appearance and fantastic culinary achievement.

Tragically, such neighborhoods are a blessing of erratic and patently unfair geographic distribution.