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Inside The Bizarre Bucatini Pasta Shortage Of 2020

Photo: carpe89 / Shutterstock
Bucatini Pasta

As if 2020 couldn’t get any more weirder, 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 Italian word buco, meaning “hole.” It absorbs 200 percent more sauce than other thinner, hole-free noodles.

As a staple in many households, the shortage is being felt among various communities around the world

Why is there a sudden bucatini pasta shortage — and when did it start?

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Alright, let’s go back in time to March of this year.

As soon as the pandemic started to become more of a reality, people started stress-shopping, buying too many rolls of toilet paper (as we remember), and emptying the shelves of many pantry staples, including pasta. 

But the missing bucatini felt even weirder to certain people — maybe even deliberate.

One Twitter user wrote: “I did experience this Bucatini shortage for several months. When I finally found it I must have bought 12 packages of it.” 

People who usually buy bucatini from stores have felt this shortage has been more deliberate than anything else. Other pastas have since been restocked, such as fusilli, spaghetti, and rigatoni. 

Many Reddit users are bouncing around their own conspiracy theories in a Bucatini Shortage of 2020 thread. 

“Thus, when it showed up as Safeway's store brand Signature, I picked it up. Just one package, I swear. Because there was just one package. Word is obviously out on the street. Brace yourself, Safeway, it's going to be a stampede of the bucatini deprived masses,” a Reddit user wrote in the thread.

“The popular cuts sold out, then the bucatini sold out, then the manufacturers had a huge shortage to make up and just ran the highest selling cuts, and bucatini got left in the dust,” another user added. 

Some bucatini lovers are convinced that this is the government’s doing.

In a forum, many users responded to an article written where a journalist looked deeper into the bizarre shortage. 

One user in the forum wrote: “A firm in the marketplace for pasta found that a competitor was out of regulation with their product, and they found a person in congress who could press a slow-moving and ineffective agency to do better at doing their job: enforcing said regulations.”

More bucatini conspiracy theories are popping up online.

Of course, with any good story that makes absolutely no sense and has no direct solution, people come up with even crazier conspiracies.

Many people are inferring that the plastic straw ban might have been a factor in the bucatini shortage of 2020.

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Others are convinced that it is the FDA's doing.

One user wrote: "Under this theory, the FDA iron enrichment standard is an anti-competitive tool that can cause a bucatini shortage, AND it's not actually ensuring that pasta is iron enriched."

Though, there are some people who actually haven't been experiencing the bucatini shortage at all.

This Twitter user snapped a photo of a bag of bucatini pasta that they found in a Halal grocery store, captioning it: "Yesterday i read an article about a bucatini shortage–today i found it in a halal grocery."

While another user seemed rather shocked at the experiences of other people, writing, "*GASP* we’ve been special-ordering our bucatini online bc of a local shortage and I had no idea other people were experiencing the same thing."

It seems that everyone's best bet to avoid running out of bucatini pasta is when you run across some packages in the grocery store, grab at least a few boxes.

According to this Tweet, one woman has resorted to hoarding the boxes of pasta in her pantry, writing, "Things I hoarded during the pandemic: TP, Clorox wipes, bucatini. Store shelves were stripped of all 3, but Bucatini shortage unacknowledged until now."

Whatever the case may be in regards to finding a solution that can put an end to this bizarre shortage, hopefully 2021 brings more bucatini pasta on shelves.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Chicago. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.