The Very Real, Totally Bizarre Bucatini Shortage of 2020

FWIW I have found bucatini at my local Safeway. It’s Safeway’s house brand but made in Italy.


Bucatini is one of the least popular pasta shapes around these parts and supermarkets have stopped stocking it. Unfortunately for me it’s my favourite pasta shape. My other favourite pasta shape is linguine and luckily it’s still readily available.

However, I go to Turk “markets” often and they have bucatini! And every time I go there I buy 5 or more :shushing_face: :triumph:


Thanks, it’s a hilarious read! I do hope soon your stock will be back to normal.

In my part of the world, one couldn’t find bucatini in a normal supermarket. I like it more than spaghetti nº 7 for example. I guess the main reason is cited by the chef in the article, that I’m not aware of:

“Dry pasta is typically extruded, pushed through a big die made of bronze. Spaghetti, you push it through once and it just comes out. Bucatini is much more complicated, because of the hole, the center.”

Due to that reason, bucatini is priced higher than spaghetti. Also, I asked around, many people I know don’t know what it is. Supermarkets see no interest to carry a product few buy. Personally I buy them online directly from the producers in Italy, the minimum order is 6 kg per shape. You can see when I place my pasta order, it’s always over 30 kg. :rofl:


That article was hysterical!

I buy/eat bucatini once a year for St Joseph’s Day. March 19. I always go to a specific little Italian market nearby for it as well as the canned sardine sauce which is traditional. Always Delverde Brand which is the only pasta brand they sell. Last year I went a few weeks ahead of the day as it was beginning to look like we would be “locked-down” by then. Smart move on my part. Also smart - I bought two packages and still have one left. I still have to stop there to pick up the sauce. I doubt there’s been a rush on sardine and fennels sauce with raisins though.


“It is a self-aware noodle.”

Fun read. Just don’t mess with my cavatelli.

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I saw bucatini in my local Kroger affiliate a couple of days ago. It was their Private Selection store brand. Bucatini isn’t one of my favorites of long strand pastas, but I’ve had the Private Selection bucatini and thought it was okay. I’m generally satisfied with Private Selection pasta.

I looked it up. It looks like it would be very nice to eat, though in English some of the more free-style types of cavatelli could be renamed splocciblobbi. :slight_smile:

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The way the author feels about bucatini is the way I feel about long strand macaroni, which I haven’t seen in a chain supermarket for decades. It was my favorite for mac & cheese. If you worked a whole strand onto yoir fork, parts of it would be unctuous and creamy while other parts had some cheesy crust - the perfect toothsome mouthful!

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The two are certainly conceptually similar. A fat stick with a fat hole in it vs a skinny stick with a skinny hole in it. (In both cases longitudinally, not shortitudinally) :slight_smile:

Next step we take is like the turducken: spaghettini inside bucatini inside long macaroni… maybe call it “spaghettone pazze” (maybe bad grammar)

… though if the article is any indication regarding sauce, they may have stopped making it to speed up production of tomato & basil.

That may be true but I don’t know any other items this brand makes.

Me neither - probably something kale-y though. :slight_smile:

EDIT: The US flag they put on the can is apparently just put there to fool me, it’s from Italy, so I guess no American actresses are working overtime in the fish plant … the same company sells caponata too. They probably have other things that don’t get across the ocean on a regular basis.


Thanks for doing the deep dive into what they sell. I’ll have to check to see if my local purveyor sells the caponata.

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Heh… no deep dive, I just typed the name and looked around for a minute.

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Only a few stores carry bucatini in our area. However, my favorite is the larger Perciatelli. The Stop & Shop carries it near us, so when I see it I stock up.
I did note that, at the beginning of the pandemic, it seems that all pasta was in short supply but the situation seems to be improving.

Bucatini accidentally enforces a certain mode of politeness that I might otherwise neglect; while spaghetti can be slurped, bucatini resists slurping - and makes a small warning noise if I try. :grinning:

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Bucatini is Perciatelli.

From wikipedia

Bucatini [bukaˈtiːni], also known as perciatelli [pertʃaˈtɛlli], are a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. They are common throughout Lazio, particularly Rome.

The name comes from the Italian buco , meaning “hole”, while bucato or its Neapolitan language variant perciato means “pierced”

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It could easily happen that Brand A calls their product “bucatini” and Brand B calls theirs “perciatelli”, and Brand B just happens to make a larger size.

Or Brand C makes two sizes, and felt like giving them different names.


My Italian mentors beg to differ with Wikipedia.
In our heavily Italian area, bucatini & perciatelli differ. The perciatelli is slightly thicker but still has a hole down the center, and each type is labeled as such in our stores. Honest!
My preference is the larger perciatelli which I use when we make clam sauce. The pasta soaks up the broth very nicely and is delicious.


The fact that both names mean no more nor less than “thing with a hole in it” shows how arbitrary pasta names really are. The only solution: Whatever people call it, that’s what it’s called. :slight_smile:

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