There are many different kinds of signaling devices for announcing ‘dinner’s ready’. The one I enjoy using the most now is seashell pasta. I’m not sure anyone I’ve ever taught how to whistle with seashell pasta actually uses it to call guests to the table, but I tell my customers that’s what they can use it for. Most people believe me and are delighted to receive a free piece of uncooked Italian seashell pasta as a gift.
The best seashell pasta to use for whistles is sold at Whole Foods Market under the trade name ‘365’. It’s called ‘Tomato Spinach Shells’ and is enriched macaroni (made in Italy). You get about a thousand whistles per one pound bag for less than two dollars. What a bargain!
I like these little Italian pasta shell whistles because they’re well made, sturdy, easy to hold and they’re multicolored. They are also penetratingly loud little whistles.
I give spinach pasta to customers who seem a bit timid when asked if they want to learn how to whistle really loud with pasta. I tell them it’s for strength.Tomato pasta is for beauty. Regular pasta is for youth; kids between five and seven years old. They spit a lot when learning the skill.
If a customer is having trouble learning the skill with a piece of pasta I usually say “Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. It’s probably defective pasta”. Then I give them something different, like a bottle cap or twist-off plastic bottle top. Larger objects are easier for some people to learn the skill with. They immediately feel better and it boosts their confidence. Most people get the skill within a minute or two using this method of instruction. (The ‘skill’ is fundamental to playing all the shells in my line of seashell musical instruments.)
Some words of advice: if the seashell pasta whistle is used in an inappropriate environment, such as inside a school or place of employment, and there is danger of being ‘busted’, eat the evidence. But have some fun doing it.Tell an innocent bystander there’s something wrong with your nose. Grab your nose with one hand while biting down hard on the pasta. The look you will get is priceless.
My apologies to all other manufacturers of seashell pasta. ‘365’ brand is best for whistling.