The Great Bucatini Shortage of 2020

As if 2020 couldn’t get any stranger, there are now reports of a totally bizarre bucatini shortage happening. For anyone who doesn’t know, bucatini is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. The name comes from the Italian word buco, meaning “hole.” It absorbs 200% more sauce than other thinner, hole-free noodles. As soon as the pandemic started to become more of a reality, people started stress-shopping, buying too many rolls of toilet paper and emptying the shelves of many pantry staples, including pasta. However, other pastas — fusilli, spaghetti, rigatoni — have since been restocked, but not bucatini. Some bucatini lovers are convinced that this is the government’s doing. It seems that a competitor of De Cecco — one of the top two Italian suppliers of pasta — contacted the FDA to complain that the iron content of De Cecco’s bucatini was 10.9mg per pound, rather than the FDA requirement of 13mg per pound. That caused the FDA to block the import of De Cecco’s bucatini. Now bucatini lovers everywhere are begging De Cecco to put 2.1mg of iron into their bucatini and help rescue us from this national pasta nightmare.