The sad story of penne lisce in the days of Coronavirus

Penne lisce remained on the shelves, snubbed by the Italians even during the apocalypse...

1y ago

Italy was the first European nation to develop a Covid-19 outbreak. While the government was putting ideas in order, the Italians poured into supermarkets to stock up on essential goods: canned food, toilet paper, detergents, frozen foods. And of course... pasta!

This "race to the last pack of pasta" has highlighted a thorny issue: penne lisce is the most detested pasta by Italians.

The photos taken on supermarket shelves have made this reality really evident. It was all over: penne rigate, spaghetti, macaroni. And penne lisce? No, there it was, snubbed even during the apocalypse.

It goes without saying, this sparked a debate on social media that has raged for days.

"I keep looking at this photo I took earlier in the supermarket, and I think the biggest loser of this virus is penne lisce. Italians think it’s shit, even as they panic and prepare for the apocalypse."

And the jokes continue:

"I am thinking of a partypostpandemy based on light drugs and all you can eat pasta, which will then be penne lisce because you left me only those, you bastards."

However, De Cecco, a famous Italian pasta producer, wishes to clarify that "not all penne lisce are the same".

The texture of penne lisce is generally smooth on the surface, so the sauce does not grab on them. Unlike penne rigate which has tiny carved lines on the surface and holds onto the sauce better. But what De Cecco says, in part, is true: the bronze-drawn pasta is rough, and collects the sauce, even if it's smooth.

Despite this, the truth is that the smooth penne for an Italian is almost a 'punishment', they look like a hospital or college food. I don't know why, but it is so.

Obviously many memes have been made about it. In one of these Marie Antoinette is holding a Barilla box of penne lisce, reading, "If they don't have anymore bread, they eat penne lisce."

At this point a poll seems necessary:

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Comments (14)

  • Just bought two boxes of Penne lisce. Would choose them over Penne rigate any time. But I'm German so I guess my behaviour can be excused. ;)

      1 year ago
  • I had to choose penne rigate because I was blissfully unaware of the existence of penne lisce until now 😁 Why do they keep making them if nobody buys?

      1 year ago
  • Agreed, I didn’t notice that there was a difference. I probably should pay more attention.

      1 year ago
    • Really?!?!?! Yes, pay attention, there is a huge difference!

        1 year ago
    • I apologize, I probably will never get Italian pasta etiquette, just like I can’t slurp noddles to compliment my friend’s pho without choking. I do admire the subtleties though.

        1 year ago
  • Nooo! Penne lisce are essential if you are making pasta in the oven with a creamy sauce that needs to flow over the pasta and not get stuck.

      1 year ago
  • You know what I agree and I did not know the difference until I read this. I agree rigate is better because lisce remind of the cheap microwave pasta meals and those are just depressing.

      1 year ago