Last year was rocked by shortages in all parts of the supermarket and unfortunately 2021 started the same way. There was a report released in December and revealed that one specific pasta shape was all but gone.
Barilla acknowledged that their production of bucatini — a long pasta with a hole in the center like a straw — was bubbling like rotini due to a surge in demand as everyone was cooking homemade meals (and what’s easier to make than pasta?). De Cecco, another major pasta maker, experienced problems with the FDA during this time because the iron content in its bucatini was “below the stated level as required by the standard of fortified macaroni,” according to the FDA.
Both companies said their bucatini would eventually make a comeback, but as we approach 2022, the overall pasta market isn’t looking so positive.
As we know, pasta is made from flour, but not just any flour. Durum wheat is the hardest wheat, the United States Department of Agriculture say. It’s thick with a high protein content and gluten strength, making it a great ingredient to use for pasta and bread. It is called semolina when ground.
While North Dakota is the primary location for growing durum wheat in the US, Canada produces two-thirds of the world’s supply, followed by Europe. A French news site, The connection, says both areas have been hit hard this year by unusual weather, severely affecting crops.
Heavy rainfall in Europe is impacting durum wheat stocks in France, where farmers are concerned as their supply is running low.
“We still have about 12 tons here and with that, depending on the type of pasta, we can make more or less between 15 days and three weeks,” says Gilles Reichstadt, manager of the Usine Thirion factory in north-eastern France. , the news channel said. “We were supposed to have 25 tons delivered in September, so we hope it will come.”
Canada, however, faces the opposite problem. A massive heat wave and drought have wiped out 30% of the country’s crop and prices for durum wheat have already skyrocketed this year, to about $350 a tonne. Last year at this time it was about $294, government data of Alberta shows.
Jason Bull, the director of Eurostar Commodities, an ingredient supplier based in West Yorkshire, England, said: Bakeryandsnacks.com that “this is a dire situation” and that “the market is completely out of control.” He also said a pasta shortage is expected on supermarket shelves, in addition to higher prices that will be passed on to consumers. Ultimately, he added, it could come down to making pasta with soft wheat flour instead of durum wheat.
This is in line with what Kroger executives forecast for the remainder of 2021. Recently they said that the cost of groceries will be about 2% to 3% higher than usual by the end of the year.
Eat this, not that! has contacted Barilla and De Cecco for information on whether their pasta is affected.
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