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THE BUCATINI DILEMMA

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Italy exports many excellences, with food being the flagship. Everyone in one ingredient or another enjoys the sublime taste. It is no secret that the country has maintained a steady export during COVID, while several other sectors suffered and continue to struggle during a recovery.

The famous pasta De Cecco bucatini disappeared from the shelves of the USA during 2020. The inability to find it surprised the consumers because pasta’s unusual shape has become very popular among Americans who associate it with the famous Amatriciana classic dish and other applications. North Americans are well aware that bucatini absorbs the sauce very well, and the characteristic that has led them to success. You have not noticed the shortfall because an earlier production date filled the shelves.

So what caused the withdrawal of such popular food from the market?

There are two reasons why the bucatini has disappeared. The first is that all the pasta brands (including, for example, Barilla) reduced bucatini production in 2020. It occurred because the leading pasta company decided to focus on other pasta shapes, produced more efficiently, and therefore more suitable for extensive shopping in the pandemic.

But the most crucial reason surrounding the refusal was delivered by the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the agency that oversees everything that appears on our daily tables. According to the agency, the FDA discovered that the De Cecco bucatini contained too little iron for law standards.

It is an all-American peculiarity, which has roots in “ancient laws”. As soon as De Cecco became aware of it, they immediately adapted, increasing the iron level in the recipe solving and the problem. The bucatini is back on the shelves, but we still need clearance from the FDA.

The De Cecco will continue to sell the bucatini in the USA and continue to make the pasta lovers very happy. As far as the “unusual” law, which I find ridiculous, remember that you can fortify any pasta dishes by adding iron into the preparation. Ingredients such as beans, lentils, spinach, and many more will provide all you need for the daily intake. It will take lesser time to develop a healthy recipe than waiting for the FDA to offer a clearance.

The FDA worries about the level of iron in bucatini while completely obscuring the need to revamp the “school lunch program” for our kids, which trails all other industrialized nations worldwide.

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