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Pot-sized spaghetti?

Spotted this on the end cap today at the store and my first thought was "is this real life?" Is this even spaghetti anymore? Is it that difficult to snap spaghetti or let it soften a few seconds so that the entire length of the noodle can be submerged? Just curious what others think about the apparent evident "need" for such a product.

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  1. Need? There's no possible "need" that this fulfills. There are the two solutions that you've already mentioned. This product's target audience resides in new heights of incompetence/laziness that I don't even want to think about. On the flipside, there is the OCD/insanity possibility; you want half-length spaghetti, but you must have *precision* - snapping will not give you this.

    Anyway, it's Mueller's: an old, established brand, but it's not the pinnacle of pasta.

    8 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      OK, I'm glad you said it. My second thought was "are people really this lazy?" I'm pretty OCD and not even I get bent out of shape that the pasta is not exactly split in half. I think the former explanation beats the latter. I was just shocked it was not only a product but featured on the end cap. Not the pinnacle of pasta but for my 80 year old grandparents and many other families I know Mueller is the brand it's like Heinz vs. Hunt's.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        It gets better. I went to the Mueller's Pasta homepage and saw their new splash ad for this product. Here's their tagline: "Try the new no-break, no-mess, pot-sized spaghetti that changes things forever."

        It's a pasta revolution! Who knew? It also comes in three other varieties, Angel Hair, Spaghetti, and Linguine.

        PS: Coming from an Irish-German family, we bought Mueller's all the time.
        I haven't had it in decades. I used Ronzoni for the longest time, then moved to Barilla. I'll sometimes toy with De Cecco or an imported bronze die-extruded pasta but those are usually out of my price range.

        1. re: mcsheridan

          Perfect! I was hoping I wouldn't have to continue to snap linguine.

              1. re: meatn3

                well if the angels didn't go and crispy-perm it...

                I know what's next, split cannelloni?

                end cap placement is the island of mis-fit products ("no child wants a Charlie in the box!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SH1j1...) for which manufacturers pay top dollar to move merchandise before they get shipped back or go on the remaindered aisle.

                  1. re: hill food

                    end caps are for weekly sale and popular items around here.

          1. Gonna look for this just to see price difference?? I'm cooking for one, so often use sauce pot for 1-2 portions of long pasta. It MIGHT take 30 seconds or so for pasta to wilt enough to be gently coaxed down into boiling water... I can spare that time.

            5 Replies
            1. re: kseiverd

              Argg, I should have checked that. I do like the "Yes, it's a pound."

              1. re: kseiverd

                Convenience or not, I'd be shocked if there were a price differential.

                I have to admit I never used to snap my pasta. My family did when I was a child but we didn't have the right pot for long pasta.

                Until recently I would've dragged out the big pasta pot, even cooking for one. What I wound up doing, though, was making more pasta than I needed for a dinner to justify using the larger pot.

                This would frequently result in my eating more pasta than I really should, and of course I would still have leftovers which *is* nice. Lately, I'm trying to enjoy pasta without excess, so to make it just for one meal, I'm using a 3 quart pot, and yes I snap the spaghetti.

                How to contain the mess? I carefully snap it over the pasta bowl I intend to eat my dinner in and use that to tip it into the boiling water. No mess, no problem, no need for half-size pasta.

                1. re: mcsheridan

                  My mom always snapped, I never do now. I don't remember there ever being a mess when I would snap it over the pot as a kid, snap it over the pot, "mess" goes in the pot :) I wonder what they will come up with next.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Oh, I have vivid memories of that snapping; it almost inevitably meant sending small flying bits into the air. But even that's not much of a mess.

                    I still prefer unsnapped pasta to snapped.

                  2. re: mcsheridan

                    Pasta snapping mess? I don't think I have that problem. But maybe I have kitchen corners accumulating pasta debris.

                    I so understand your problem with the big pot--cook more to justify--eat too much pasta. I had that problem for a while. So right there with you on the pasta snapping.

                  1. Break spaghetti, never! Besides, I'd never but Mueller.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: treb

                      Exactly, it's not even spaghetti anymore.

                    2. Meh, not worth a twist of the undies. I'm not going to be buying it, but if I had arthritis or MS I might. There are plenty of foods in the grocery store that I find utterly useless (Uncrustables spring immediately to mind) but I assume the people who do buy them have some rationale for doing so.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: ErnieD

                        My undies aren't twisted just curious as to what others think. I agree, useful for those with mobility issues. My mom has MS and I'm sure she might find it useful. Not sure that's the target audience though.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          many folks with MS cook pasta by the dry pound. many.

                          1. re: hill food

                            Of course they do. But if this might make pasta easier, who cares? It's not like you are loosing anything by it's existence. I usually hate "first world problem" type responses, but I am literally trying to come up with anyone who is harmed by it and I can't.

                            1. re: ErnieD

                              I was sorta kidding, I am confident people with MS can and do cook for themselves, the idea was that they might in that amount. unless they have a whole lot of friends (and heck why not?).

                              1. re: hill food

                                <edit> actually if one is making a large meal for people with manual dexterity issues it does make some sort of sense. (I know other shapes would be easier, but when memory and sentiment are in the game, maybe that's not really the issue)

                      2. While I am firmly in the "whats so hard about snapping" camp my business mind gives them credit for creativity.

                        Think about it. A 'hound took the time to take a picture, post it and question it so they got what they wanted-attention, positive or not.

                        Muellers paid for end cap to get people to notice and it worked.

                        Even people buy only it for the novelty it's getting the Mueller name out there. My gut say they will make a deal with some of the big chains and run a BOGO or some kind of sale for all their pastas, mixing other styles on the end cap but keeping the pot sized front and forward.

                        I too am curious if there is price differential but I doubt it. It's about getting the customer to choose Mueller over another brand,

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: foodieX2

                          I just looked online at the store - same price.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Thats what I figured. Its about branding.

                        2. Spaghetti for two fits just fine in a 12" sauté pan. Larger quantities fit fine in a stock pot. I've never even heard of the need to snap spaghetti. WTH?!? Who does that?

                          22 Replies
                          1. re: gourmanda

                            people who have children (or anyone else, for that matter -- RA, the above-mentioned MS, stroke victims, broken arm/wrist, etc., etc., etc.) who lack the manual dexterity to spin their pasta on their fork without spattering sauce all over the table.

                            Mueller's was pretty much the only pasta available when I was a kid. I buy Barilla now because I like it better, but I've no beef with Mueller.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Yes, the kids, the splattering all over the place...

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                I don't see this stopping the splattering as its still too long to eat neatly without some kind of swirl.

                                1. re: foodieX2

                                  I was going to mention that for kids, they get the equivalent of a 1/4 snap though usually performed with a knife and fork :)

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Thats us too, I never was a spaghetti snapper, instead used a knife and fork the littles. Of course when our son was really small we served more penne and the like so he could practice his fork skills. Spaghetti came later.

                                  2. re: foodieX2

                                    I kind of agree -- it's still pretty long, but I was answering the question of why someone might snap.

                                    My mom snaps spaghetti when she puts it in soup, too. She likes the texture of the spaghetti, but that's DEFINITELY an application where snapped-short is a better option!

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      And, my mom snaps spaghetti every time she puts it in a pot :) So does my grandmother and all of my aunts, clearly a learned behavior.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        Barilla has your mom in mind. They have a soup-ready product, Cut Spaghetti; shorter than snapped, by far.

                                        1. re: mcsheridan

                                          but she buys Mueller or Ronzoni.
                                          It's what she does.

                                          Even with the arthritis in her hands -- she just snaps smaller bundles.

                                          She's my mom -- she doesn't tell me how to cook or run my kitchen, and I return the favor.

                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                          When making chicken noodle soup, I'd use regular spaghetti but break it into one-inch lengths to create 'soup pasta' that could easily be eaten with the spoon without making a mess.

                                          1. re: Kajikit

                                            And there's a product for you too! I saw "broken spaghetti - perfect for soup" packaged on the pasta shelves. I don't remember the brand, but it's probably a great way for them to use broken scraps.

                                            1. re: lsmutko

                                              One of the chains (Applebee's, maybe?) Used to do a broken pasta entree.

                                              (it was actually really good)

                                              1. re: lsmutko

                                                I'm surprised their advertising dept. didn't brand it;

                                                "Visually abstract pasta art; each piece as unique as it's consumer" and charge triple for it.

                                                Shoot, maybe I should. (Visions of a 3rd world labor factory of workers smashing pre-purchased commercial pasta brands with hammers and repackaging)

                                        3. re: sunshine842

                                          Okay, I concede the point...sort of. Why wouldn't people with these issues just use a different type of pasta? Penne, rigatoni, etc.

                                          1. re: gourmanda

                                            because the person cooking is not always the person with dexterity issues.

                                            Because they prefer long, thin pasta?

                                            1. re: gourmanda

                                              Because who cares? If it's not affecting your life in any way, why judge?

                                            2. re: sunshine842

                                              I snap when cooking for my elferly (I meant elderly, but we'll that one ride) parents - yes dexterity issues, nothing serious, but the issues exist and they prefer, yet were never much good with long pasta and they don't trust the small ones unless it's macaroni (don't ask me, I just roll with the house rules)

                                              one of these days I'm going to drag out the orzo and see what happens - "this is the strangest rice"

                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                <people who have children (or anyone else, for that matter -- RA, the above-mentioned MS, stroke victims, broken arm/wrist, etc., etc., etc.) who lack the manual dexterity to spin their pasta on their fork without spattering sauce all over the table.>

                                                I do not, never have, enjoyed any part of spinning pasta onto a fork. I mean, really, what is that about? I don't get the appeal. It doesn't alter the flavor of the food at all. Once plated, I cut fork-cut mine into bite-size lengths. I do get looks that suggest I might be manually challenged (I am not), but fuck 'em. Twirling pasta serves no real purpose that I can see. It's a tradition, like eating Chinese food with chopsticks.

                                                If my brand offered a split pasta at the same price as the long strands, I'd buy it. Why not?

                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                  Glad I'm not the only one! I hate twirling and always cut my long pasta into small pieces. I have no patience with being "authentic" if I can't enjoy my meal.

                                                  1. re: Hobbert

                                                    I've been known, when dining out, to twirl a few bites. Then, with street creed established, switch to cutting. It heads off all commentary, I've found.

                                              2. re: gourmanda

                                                I snap when I'm cooking just one or two servings of spaghetti for myself. Because it's just easier with the size pot I'm using. I never thought of it as a particularly odd thing to do.

                                              3. It's bad luck to snap long length pasta in half. I learned that decades ago from my second generation Italian immigrant in-laws.

                                                It's true. Trust me.

                                                Now short no-splatter "sketti" AND no bad luck!


                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                  It's worse luck to eat Mueller's pastas.

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      well I've never been to a store that only sells the most inferior of all mass produced pastas, and it is never in my pantry, although my mom used to buy elbows to make mac and cheese 40 years ago, so yes eating Mueller's Pasta as the only option is in my opinion bad luck gone worse. I purchased a box of pasta maybe 15 years ago and was horrified how terrible it was. Plenty of better cheap pasta out there.

                                                      1. re: Bellachefa

                                                        welcome to small towns in rural areas.

                                                        Besides -- it's pasta. Flour and eggs.

                                                        If it were that horrible, it wouldn't still be one of the market leaders.

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          been to plenty of small towns in rural areas

                                                          never been to a small town rural area grocer that only supplied Mueller's pasta as the single option

                                                          and why did you quit Mueller's for Barilla anyway?

                                                          head smack - it was a superior tasting product

                                                          and as you say - flour and eggs. making my own would be preferred to eating that crap

                                                          1. re: Bellachefa

                                                            No, it's because I don't have the sticking problems with Barilla.

                                                            Mueller is a market leader -- it's been around forever -- some people are very loyal to it. It's certainly not poison -- if someone wants to buy it, it impacts me not at all, and I'm certainly not going to look down on someone because they buy a different brand of pasta than I buy.

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              "they buy a different brand of pasta than I buy"

                                                              but "he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke
                                                              The same cigarettes as me"

                                                              we are nothing if not the brands we favor.

                                                  1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                    That would have been a good tag line.

                                                    1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                      I hope your in-laws never buy a box of Rice-A-Roni ;-)

                                                    2. I always kept it long, no snapping, no mess!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        It's not nearly as much fun to eat snapped spaghetti as it is to eat it unsnapped. Yet it really does taste the same.

                                                      2. Now all you need is a revolutionary way to salt your water and you'll be all set. Oh wait, that already exists!


                                                        I can't even imagine having a need for either of these products, although I guess the shorter pasta makes sense for people who lack hand strength.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                          WOW! And I love a good finishing salt. That wins the grande prize for marketing to morons!

                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                              You had to link that didn't you? Now that shill is going to be all over this site again, LOL.

                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                I enjoyed that thread immensely, I have to say. It always amuses me when someone responds seriously (and REALLY enthusiastically!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) to obviously facetious comments. You have to wonder which one is dumber, the salt rock or the shill?

                                                            2. I really could not care less. Some people want short spaghetti, I really don't care.Personally I would not buy any because I like normal length spaghetti so I can spin it up on my fork. Others cut it up into little pieces, kinda weird but what can I say? ... besides don't invite them out to a good Italian restaurant. It is just a Marketing ploy that seems to be working quite well.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: genoO

                                                                Hi geneO,

                                                                <Others cut it up into little pieces, kinda weird but what can I say? ... besides don't invite them out to a good Italian restaurant.>

                                                                This is a joke, right? Please, say you were joking.

                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                  I don't think it's a joke. My understanding is Italians consider this an insult. Someone worked really hard to make those beautiful long noodles that wouldn't break when cooked or plated.

                                                                  More on this below.

                                                                  1. re: acgold7

                                                                    I firmly believe in the "when in Rome" school of behavior. But what about Italian restaurants in the USA? To my knowledge, cutting isn't considered an insult here.

                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                      Anywhere Italian food is taken seriously cutting spaghetti is considered bizarre behavior and bad manners and hard to watch. It's not exactly an insult, because that would imply intent and it is unimaginable in such settings that anyone would intentionally deface spaghetti and make it more difficult to eat. Those who wish to avoid twirling can order a different shape.

                                                              2. It does seem like the result of a slow day in the marketing department.

                                                                I can think of one instance where this could be useful - school cafeterias. Breaking pasta for 500 must take a little time. Smaller pasta would be easier to portion out.

                                                                I don't see any real need for this in a home kitchen. With most of the mobility issues I would think lifting and draining the pot would be equally as difficult.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                  not all of those with manual dexterity issues are the ones doing the cooking.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    True. Seems if they aren't cooking then someone else is...That someone could easily snap the pasta or cut it for the person with dexterity issues. Which brings us full circle to the product serving no real need.

                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                      but it's on the shelf - it's been on the shelf for quite a few months now (I know you've been seeing it at Publix as long as I have) -- and the shelf never seems to be fully stocked, so someone must have a self-defined need for it.

                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                        I'm back in NC so no Publix yet (coming soon!).
                                                                        I haven't noticed it here.

                                                                        Only other thought is perhaps people find it easier to store? No tall jar or tupperware needed.

                                                                        If I saw someone buying it I'm curious enough to ask them why!

                                                                2. When I lived in Greece I used to see 1kg bags of 1" long spaghetti
                                                                  in all the stores (there were two on the island). I didn't read or speak much Greek when I first got there but over time, as my reading improved,I realized they were selling it for dog food. The picture of the German Shepherd on the bag was my first clue.

                                                                  1. I loved the 2' long dry Spaghetti Lunghi that TJ sold some years back, for a time. It took a few minutes before the strands softened enough to sink below the water but somehow they cooked evenly anyway. It was fun to plate it up and serve it to someone who had no idea it wasn't regular length, then watch their expression as they held the fork and twirled....and twirled....and twirled, until there was a fist-sized ball of pasta on the tines.
                                                                    A single strand rolled up into a proper-sized forkful.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                        Sounds like an Italian version of Longevity Noodles.

                                                                        And I'm at once reminded of an old cartoon where the entire plate of spaghetti was just one, very long, noodle. :D

                                                                      2. Unless I've missed something, nobody has presented an Italian reaction to this amazing product. May I attempt to fill that gap?

                                                                        I told my husband about it. He is a Roman and an engineer, and thus represents spaghetti-eating tradition on the one hand and admiration of efficient design on the other. He pondered it seriously for a bit and then said, "The problem is the twirling." And then added, "I don't see pushing spaghetti down in the pot as a big problem." (I was pleased that my own reaction was the same.)

                                                                        The thing is that you probably cannot twirl a short strand with the same efficiency as a longer strand. (Needless to say, we have never tried.) But, since nobody who would snap spaghetti in two cares about eating it the Italian way, this is undoubtedly a non-issue for Mueller's customers. Italians do break spaghetti and linguine but not in half. These shapes are used broken into 3 or 4 pieces in soups and are thus eaten with a spoon when broken. Anyone who has physical difficulties cooking or eating full-sized spaghetti can choose from an infinity of short shapes.

                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: mbfant

                                                                          I am in the twirling camp (did that sound campy/twirly-skirt? or is it like the aliens in the Simpsons about "always twirling into the future") but some are not up for that and for them I snap (these days my nerves are so on edge I'm always ready to snap - OT) but pasta needs to be an easy dish and if short, non-twirly pasta makes them happy, so be it.

                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                            Mueller isn't trying to sell pot-sized spaghetti in Italy, AFAIK, and the differences between Italian and American-Italian are enough to fill a book (yes, I know you're an author, mfant)

                                                                            I just don't really get what the all the angst is -- I don't have any reason to buy it, but if somebody else wants to, hey, it's their money, their kitchen, and their plate.

                                                                            I also, for the record, certainly wouldn't throw my napkin in the plate and storm out the door if someone dared serve me short spaghetti.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Angst? Angst? who has angst? And this has nothing to do with Italian-Americans, who know how to twirl spaghetti (albeit with a spoon). I doubt Mueller is aiming at them either.

                                                                              Short spaghetti is undoubtedly harder to twirl than full-sized. I often have guests I think probably need easy pasta (a group which also includes native Italians wearing silk blouses), but the answer is penne or mezze maniche or fusilli, not short spaghetti that is still too long to eat with a spoon (in soup).

                                                                              I swear I overheard the following dialogue in Italian some years ago:

                                                                              Person 1: You won't believe what I saw. Some Germans broke their spaghetti in half.
                                                                              Person 2: But how could they eat it?

                                                                              1. re: mbfant

                                                                                oh, plenty of folks on this thread are pretty angst-y, whether it's "why break it?" or "why Mueller".

                                                                                People like what they like.

                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                  I never expected such angst...I just found it curious

                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                      see? if you hate everything then you can truly say you're not prejudiced!

                                                                                  1. re: mbfant

                                                                                    Confession: I've twirled short spaghetti. It's not any different than long spaghetti. I mean if it were two or three inches long then sure, but five or six? It twirls, I promise. It's not harder.

                                                                                    1. re: mbfant

                                                                                      The people in this thread calling those who buy this "lazy" and saying they shouldn't call themselves cooks seem to have a bit of angst, for starters.

                                                                                2. re: mbfant

                                                                                  thank you - this was my thought exactly 1/2 long spaghetti are un-twirl-able

                                                                                3. If we were still eating pasta and it happened to be on sale, I'd buy it... if only because the box will fit in the cabinet better than the long skinny spaghetti box - stand them on the end and they tend to fall over (and out of the cupboard) to break or spill the spaghetti, and if you lay them on the side they don't stay closed...

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Kajikit

                                                                                    Good point about the box size. No one else has considered that. I have broken my spaghetti in half when I'm just making enough for one and don't want to wash a larger pot. I didn't realize this would be such a hot-button issue. Usually I don't break it, but I have certainly done so without thinking of the long-term ramifications of such an action. AND I was raised in a big Italian family that never discussed noodle length.

                                                                                    That being said, this is a silly, but fun conversation.

                                                                                    1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                      Yes, I didn't intend for it to be serious. I was just curious as to what others' reactions to said pasta box would be.

                                                                                  2. i don't snap. i don't know why one would snap. spaghetti is spaghetti. that being said, my spaghetti is pot-sized. my le creuset oval pot fits it perfectly.

                                                                                    1. Seriously, anyone who feels the need to buy this just ought to tear up their cooking card.

                                                                                      1. Although I have not read the entire thread, I grew up eating unbroken spaghetti. In fact, I think the spaghetti was around three feet long. I wish I could remember the brand. The box was probably 20" long and the spaghetti was bent in the middle, and my mother still didn't break it.

                                                                                        1. Side effect of dwelling on this topic…

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                            WOW, I guess my Adblock really works. I do not get any banner Ads on this site.

                                                                                              1. re: chefj

                                                                                                Well, I'm on an iPad mini, and I don't want to clutter it up with things like ad blockers, even if available. I do use ABP on my PC.

                                                                                                I even click on an ad here from time to time. I do that on most sites; "free" content and the people who run the things we enjoy have to be paid for somehow.

                                                                                              2. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                LOL, me too. I find it rather funny what ads turn up based on what I post. Can't adblock here on my work computer...

                                                                                              3. OK, driving my 12 y.o. to camp, I mentioned this thread to him. He is the king of pasta and cooks it regularly.

                                                                                                His comment: "That is stupid. Who breaks pasta? Just put it in and it softens and slides right into the pot."

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                  Perceptive child!
                                                                                                  It's all about marketing something that people don't need. It's a solution to a non-existant problem.
                                                                                                  Same goes for anyone trying to sell you an oblong pot to cook pasta, because it "fits".

                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                    i have an oblong pot. an oval le creuset. and i use it too cook spaghetti! but that's not all i use it for. and that's not why i bought it.

                                                                                                    1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                      I was thinking about Rachel Ray- I don't know if she pushes using her oblong pot on her show, but she used to.

                                                                                                    2. re: monavano

                                                                                                      let us see how long this is sold.....

                                                                                                    3. re: tcamp

                                                                                                      Exactly. But you do need to push the long formats down and stir.

                                                                                                      (This was meant as a reply to tcamp's twelve-year-old.)

                                                                                                    4. "The chore of breaking spaghetti in half. The fuss the muss...it's a kitchen disaster!

                                                                                                      But wait! Now you can throw away that overly long, dangerous and messy spaghetti and use Pot-Sized Spaghetti!" - Ron Popeil

                                                                                                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                          I'd love to have a rich uncle but sadly, am not related to the folks who started the Mueller line. When I was growing up in NY, it, and Ronzoni, were the only brands of (eggless) dry pasta. Wheat flour. Water. How different can they really be, especially when enrobed in sauce, or consumed by people who smoke or use a lot of salt?

                                                                                                          I suspect that if Mr. Mueller had named his brand, "Molinaro", it would not be so peremptorily dismissed. That said, pot-sized spaghetti may be some sort of Hail, Mary pass.

                                                                                                          1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                            This report: http://www.ats-sea.agr.gc.ca/amr/6253...

                                                                                                            Breaks down the market share numbers as of February 2013 (sorry, but I'm not coughing up close to a grand for the current reports


                                                                                                            Barilla is at 15.7% of the total dry pasta market.
                                                                                                            Grupo Ebra Puleva SA (Ronzoni and Creamette) held 11%
                                                                                                            The newly-formed Ralcorp holdings, which bought out American Italian Pasta Company in 2010, holds 7.1% across Muller, Pennsylvania Dutch, Heartland, Ronco, and a few other brands.

                                                                                                            They're all getting their ass kicked by private label brands and brands that hold less than a 1% share -- 33% -- which is about the same as the top three combined.

                                                                                                            So let's not get on our high horse about Muller being the shitheap of the market...at least they have identifiable market share...and this is one more SKU and a little more shelf space, and (hopefully for them) a little more market share.

                                                                                                            And you all do realize that it's entirely conceivable that that store-brand pasta might just come off of Muller's production lines, right?

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                LOL! Exactly. Can you say macaroni salad?

                                                                                                            1. I spotted this item at Food Lion last night. Next to it was the private label brand of the same thing for 50 cent less.

                                                                                                              While looking at the shelf I realized this is a perfect size to gain more display real estate for the pasta company. Another variety in a large package wouldn't fit but the small size box can be squeezed in without problems. From that pov it seems a good move for Mullers.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                Interesting observation- getting prime shelf space is key.

                                                                                                              2. saw it today on shelf. it is a small package (smaller than my hand!)! btw, it was as BOGO at harris teeter, along with many other mueller BOGO pastas. they also do this "half-size" in linguine.

                                                                                                                who the heck cares? let the market decide!

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                  It was just an inquiry, a silly curiosity question. There was never anything to spend much time caring about. I also saw it at Harris Teeter, I wonder if it's at other stores or if there is some HT roll out thing.

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                    it's been at Publix for quite a while now.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      I think the world of consumer products is endlessly fascinating. Clearly, you have to keep rolling out new ones or risk stagnation. And in most instances, you have to create demand for your new product. Time will tell if Muellers can do that with pot sized noodles.

                                                                                                                  2. Maybe I should market a reverse ravioli kit. Pasta with a side of ricotta cheese!

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                      Deconstructed ravioli! Drizzle some fancy oil or squid ink on top and charge a bundle.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                        I know your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek, but....

                                                                                                                        Try a real ravioli kit. Thin fresh pasta sheets, fillings, and one of the plastic ice tray shape frames. Add refills, without the cutting "system". This seems pretty marketable to me.

                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                          I think that sounds like an awesome idea.

                                                                                                                          DiGiorno just started selling "build your own pizza kits" -- crust, sauce, meat, and vegetables -- why not ravioli?

                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                            Ohhhhh my earliest kitchen memories of my life is making home-made ravi's with my grandmother. Back in the day the kitchen table would be covered with sheets of pasta for ravioli's, each chair back had a cloth with linguine hanging to dry till cooking time. Wonderful memories.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                              That sounds wonderful. With a ravioli kit, everyone can have those memories, without the flour mess. :-)

                                                                                                                        2. Err...yeah, I cook for adults, and I would just wait for the spaghetti to soften up so it would all fit in.

                                                                                                                          1. Reading this thread I find myself wondering why spaghetti is long in the first place? So it can be twirled? Why would anyone want to do this? I think we have long spaghetti because some long-dead Roman was too lazy to cut his thin pasta strands down to a more manageable size.

                                                                                                                            So here we are, thousands of years later, saying that people who might buy this product are either lazy or physically handicapped. We're taking pasta much too seriously. They're noodles, nothing more. I say it should be entirely cook's/eater's choice.

                                                                                                                            Side note - I tooled around the inter webs looking for a reason to twirl pasta, and could only find "respect for tradition". Interestingly, I did find a bit on Wiki (who knows how correct?) that states until the late 20th century, spaghetti was usually longer, about 20 inches. If this is true, we've already 'broken' with tradition and this is just the next iteration on the slippery slope to fork-size lengths.

                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                              Well my understanding is the long "noodle" originated in Asia/China and not Italy or Rome, so it wasn't a long dead Roman who was too lazy. He just poured tomato sauce on it and said; "Momma mia that's a good noodle"!!!

                                                                                                                              I would also say the twirling also came along with the European imported use of the Asian noodle. Obviously most of Asia did, and still do (I believe), use chop sticks as their primary utensil. Because of the design you could either grip the noodles, or just string them over the chop stick and raise to mouth.

                                                                                                                              With a multi prong fork, it requires more of a twirl to keep the pasta on the utensil.

                                                                                                                              I could be wrong, I didn't tool around the internet, those are just my opinions.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                Thanks for that information. Which leads me to; no one in Europe thought to make the noodles shorter? I'm still not understanding why we have long noodles, and why we twirl them. So far, I'm seeing a lot of "because" or "bad luck." That's pretty thin reasoning to explain the negative responses to this product.

                                                                                                                                For the record, I'm squarely in the 'whatever floats your boat' camp.

                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                  For what it's worth;


                                                                                                                                  After reading that it says specifically the technique was to pull and stretch the dough, then cutting it into strands. I'm just going to assume anything but "strings" would have probably been too chewy. Before refinements in the dough recipe and process I can see how too large or think noodles would be just too much to chew. So that's my best assumption, the linguine style noodle was just easier to portion for eating chewing purposes.

                                                                                                                              2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                Well, yes, but by your logic, what reason is there to eat anything the way it is? Why should we eat a steak in the slab form when it would certainly be easier to eat if we were to simply throw it into a blender and suck it through a straw? Why even bother to eat an artichoke at all?

                                                                                                                                Virtually all foods are done the way they are because of tradition, and yes, there are textural and flavor differences for the way they are eaten. There is a distinct eating difference between twirled (or slurped/sucked) and short pasta, but if it's not apparent to you or you don't like it, then by all means do what you prefer. That's what short pasta is for. My wife, like you, cuts her long pasta with the side of her fork, but my understanding is that most Italians would consider this an abomination, and the Chinese consider breaking long noodles bad luck because they represent long life. She doesn't care because that's how she likes it.

                                                                                                                                I, conversely, buy all of our pasta at the restaurant supply house, so all our long pasta is 21". It drives her crazy.

                                                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                  Hi acgold7,

                                                                                                                                  <Why should we eat a steak in the slab form when it would certainly be easier to eat if we were to simply throw it into a blender and suck it through a straw? >

                                                                                                                                  Because my mother, who had her jaw wired shut for several months, tells me that blended steak tastes like crap. Its a texture thing. I don't think you can reasonably say that the taste of the pasta suffers for being cut or broken.

                                                                                                                                  As to slab form, first, it is not easier to cook it, then cut it up and blend it. It's easier to cook it, cut it and eat it. Second, no one expects us to fork up the entire slab at once. We're encouraged to cut it into whatever size piece we like most. This is not the case with pasta.

                                                                                                                                  <Why even bother to eat an artichoke at all?>

                                                                                                                                  Because they're delicious, of course.

                                                                                                                                  I live in a divided household, too. My dude is a highly skilled twirler. Oddly enough, when I do twirl, I find it super simple with a fork alone, but a PITA with a spoon.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                    I remember Jeff Smith's discussion of Chinese cuisine on The Frugal Gourmet. He explained that stir-frying is a tradition because it maximizes the amount of food that can be cooked with a minimal amount of wood, which was a limited resource. The enclosed burner, with no gap between the heat and the bottom of the wok, prevents loss of heat. Cutting all the ingredients into small pieces minimizes the cooking time. Probably as a result of these practices rather than as the reason for them, traditional hospitality in China holds that it is rude to serve large pieces of food, which entail your guest having to work on them before being able to consume them.

                                                                                                                                    I agree that there is a sensory appeal to the mouth-feel of strands of food, for some people if not all. I like to twirl the spaghetti, but not to slurp it.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                      >>>Because they're delicious, of course. <<<

                                                                                                                                      Yes. And that is the answer to all of the questions, rhetorical or not, previously posted. There is in fact quite a difference in taste or mouthfeel, for twirled, stabbed, spooned or other formats of pasta. If they don't matter to you, cool, but they do exist and they do matter to others.

                                                                                                                                      This is also why different sizes and shapes of pasta exist to go with different types of sauces.

                                                                                                                                      So that is why.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                      Cheers to driving your wife crazy!! I wasn't aware it was considered an abomination by Italians to cut up linguine, but then again nobody in my family does this. Being the gavone I am, I can't twirl enough pasta on my fork and shove the golf ball sized pasta ball into my mouth. If there are two of my absolute favorite bite-fulls of food I love above all others, it's this tied with a half cut cross section of a properly cooked NY Strip steak. Both of these are my all time favorite eats.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                        There's a finesse in knowing how much to twirl on the fork and still be able to stab a bit of meatball to keep it all in sync. I have mastered this after so many forkfuls of waaaay to much pasta and no room for the meatball. I am the pasta mastah. :)

                                                                                                                                        Well, it also helps to have grown up with folks that ran Italian restos and every meal at their home was absolutely amazing. Educated this country girl, that's for sure.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: breadchick

                                                                                                                                          I grew up with the American spaghetti and meat sauce (bolognese) that is quite heavy. I remember twirling the spaghetti when I was quite young and ate it without the meat sauce. As an adult, I just cut the spaghetti on my plate as I eat it with lots of meat sauce.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: breadchick

                                                                                                                                            I would be disowned by my Mother for cutting up spaghetti

                                                                                                                                    3. Why stop there? If they shorten it a few more times, people won't even have to chew it.

                                                                                                                                      1. This got me thinking now, how does Mueller's know what size pot's we all have? Hmmmmmmmmmm????

                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                          Now THAT is a question worth pondering!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                            Perhaps Mueller should make custom order pasta. I mean, if there's a lid for every pot...why not a pasta size, too?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                              Maybe this is but the tip of the iceberg.... a test run to see if we can accept change?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                Brain storming like this is exactly how Jonas Salk found that cure for Polo. Who know's how many people would be playing that ridiculous sport if it wasn't for him and his team.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                  and yet Ralph Lauren's little empire continues unfettered.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                  The answer appears to be "no."

                                                                                                                                            2. I save my outrage for pre-cooked bacon. $22 a pound.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                                But... but... but it's cooked to PERFECTION!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                                    You're post has been heard by the The Pork Powers TO Be......on CNBC this morning they are increasing bacon production which should lead to lower prices.


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                          Reading this thread it occurred to me that a lot of the comments would also apply to sliced bread.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, but I sometimes have trouble slicing my bread to the correct thinness. Breaking pasta has, so far, required less precision. But in all fairness, I haven't ventured into the world of precision pasta yet.

                                                                                                                                                              Maybe tomorrow?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                of course, sliced bread is a wonderful thing for some people.

                                                                                                                                                                One of my family members can't slice anything to save their life -- the slices invariably start paper thin and end up as a slab or vice versa, or there's blood because the knife slipped....we just don't let that person slice things any more (no, it's not me.)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi sunshine,

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, you've met my mother! ;-)