Could coronavirus be behind a bucatini pasta shortage? : The Indicator from Planet Money Bucatini is a specialty pasta that looks a lot like spaghetti with a hole in it. For pasta lovers, it's a fan-favorite...but it has mysteriously gone missing from grocery stores across the U.S.

The Straw That Broke The Bucatini Supply Chain

Missing Bucatini

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Portland Press Herald/Portland Press Herald via Getty
GOULDSBORO, ME - JULY 11: Kelli Grover wraps Bucatini pasta into nests as it comes out of a Itagli pasta machine at Raven&#039;s Nest Farm in Goulsdboro. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Portland Press Herald/Portland Press Herald via Getty

In many ways, the coronavirus has been a pandemic of shortages. In the spring of last year, we saw shortages around toilet paper and puppies. In the summer, there were shortages of cars. And more recently, shortages of vaccines.

But beneath the headlines, another shortage has unfolded — one that's affecting pasta lovers across the United States: The Bucatini Shortage.

Bucatini is a specialty pasta that looks a lot like spaghetti. The main difference? It has a hole in it!

Last year, New York Magazine writer Rachel Handler noticed that when stay-at-home orders went into effect, bucatini became harder to find. So she went on the hunt.

Her bucatini shortage story touches on supply chain breakdowns, environmental concerns, FDA regulation, and maybe even some pasta industry infighting.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.