Bucatini: what happened in the Us Market?

Bucatini: what happened in the Us Market?

Apr 10, 2021Donatella Mulvoni
Since the pandemic, there has been a shortage of this kind of pasta. Let's talk about that, and let's see what makes them so unique. 


The mystery of Bucatini

It was funny to read for Italians that at some point, there was a shortage of this pasta in the United States. From New York to Chicago, all grocery stores were left without. A lot of people started looking on the internet at the reason why this happened. Also, a journalist of New York MagazineRachel Handler, investigated the case for Grub Street. She found some interesting facts and some technical things. Among them, the fact that "De Cecco bucatini was placed on import alert because it was misbranded as it failed to meet the required standard of identity, like the iron level, which was below the designated level as required by the standard of enriched macaroni," as an FDA spokesperson told Handler. Browsing on the internet, we found our also some interesting stories. 


Different reasons to explain the enigma

There were different reasons to explain this shortage in the United States, which mainly happened during the pandemic. This health crisis made everything more difficult, even the production and the distribution of food. Companies focused the most on the items considered "bestselling," like spaghetti and penne pasta. 


Bucatini used as straws

But there is also a curious story. It's not new, and the trend we will talk about isn't related only to the US market. But there is a specific story coming from California: after Malibu's plastic straw, stirrer, and cutlery ban went into effect, one restaurant decided to find a different way to serve drinks. The owner knew already that "Because of the environment," many have been using bucatini as straws. So, he did the same; he used pasta straws in his Malibu restaurant and sells them online.


Basics: bucatini comes from the word "buco"

But first, let's put on the table the basics of Bucatini, for the readers who aren't familiar with this pasta shape yet. The name comes from the Italian word "buco," which means "hole." Bucatini are a thick spaghetti kind of pasta, with a hole running through the center like the name says. They are made of hard durum wheat flour and water. Its origin seems to be from Amatrice, a town located northeast of Rome (the birthplace of famous amatriciana), but people in every region of Italy eat them. In some parts of the country, they are better known as "perciatelli." 


Which sauces for bucatini?

When bucatini was created, the idea was to have a hole able to allow boiling water to cook the pasta from the inside. An excellent sauce to serve this kind of pasta could be either buttery sauces with vegetables and meat, like guanciale, or Amatriciana sauce, are made with tomato sauce and pork guanciale. 

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