Sunday, January 27, 2013




"Ronzoni Sono Buoni," if you are Italian and grew up in the New York area in the great decades of the 1960's and or 70s you know the slogan. We Italians do love our pasta, we're weened on it! Pasta is the main staple of our diet. Many are fanatical about and love it so, they insist on having it several times a week. I'm one. Pasta, can be covered in a wide variety of sauces,  in some soups like; Pasta Fagoli (Pasta Fazool), in Minestrone's, with Pasta and Peas, and Pasta con Ceci (Chick Peas). Yes, we are weened on it. Mommy gave me, my bothers and sister Pastina coated in a bit of butter and Parmigiano when we were just toddlers  and every so often I have to pick up a box of Ronzoni Pastina, as I love and crave it still, and of late as with many my age, you start craving things you loved as a child, thus my stints with PASTINA ."Ronzoni Sono Buoni," it means, Ronzoni is So Good, and that it is. This brand of  Pasta, born in New York City at the turn of the 20th Century has been a mainstay of not only Italian-Americans of the East Coast but, for all. For years before the surge of many a imported pasta product in the U.S., Ronzoni, was not the only game in town for Macaroni, there was the Prince and Creamette, as well, but Ronzoni dominated the market and though I don't have stats, I would wage to say that 85 to 90 % of all commercial pasta sold in the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia areas was Ronzoni, the pasta in the bright blue boxes, Ronzoni Sono Buoni. God I wonder how many plates and bowls of Spaghetti, Ziti and other Ronzoni pastas I ate over the years, starting with Pastina as a toddler  and moving to Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce or Meatballs, Baked Ziti, Stuffed Shells and more. Oh “Stuffed Shells,” they bring back memories of my mother who loved them. We had them often, along with Lasagna made with Ronzoni Lasagana. You don't see Stuffed Shells around that much any more, they used to be on many a restaurant and even more home menus. There popularity has waned, but every once and a while I'll pick up a box of Ronzoni large shells, just for the purpose of bringing back those memories of mom making them and me loving them as  a child. I'll make a batch of tomato sauce, cook the Ronzoni Shells, and stuff them with ricotta and Parmigiano, bake them in tomato sauce, and "Voila" Stuffed Shells of days gone by. I do the same with a Pastina as I still love the dish so, dressed with butter and fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano, “makes me feel like a kid again!” Yum, delicious little pleasure you can whip up in minutes and bring back visions of your youth. All with some butter, Parmigiano and a box of Ronzoni Pastina. That's Ronzoni, every bit a part of my life and youth as a spring ol Slinky, Etch-A-Sketch, The Three Stooges, Saturday Morning Cartoons, and all the favorites of my youth, Ronzon Sono Buoni, “Ronzoni it's so good!”

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From an Article in the New York Times 1974

I'm sure these facts are no longer true, as many Americans now buy a lot more imported Italian pasta then they did back in 1974. In the 1950's, 60's 70's  and even into the 1980's  Ronzoni dominated the past market, not only in New York, but for the entire country. 

1  -   New York is the largest market for pasta in America, accounting for 20% of all pasta sales in
         America, comes from New York.

2  -   Ronzoni sells more than 40% of all pasta sold in New York.

3  -   Ronzoni's sales were more than $40 Million dollars in 1973.




The Ronzoni Macaroni Company is discontinuing Pastina, due to low sales. "What" ? Yes folks, it's true.  After 107 of being one of Italian-America's favorite pastas, and the one maccheroni products is always the first one we eat, as Italian mothers feed their little babies Ronzoni Pastina, dressed in a little butter as one of the first solid foods their baby will eat, thus one of Italian-America's most time honored traditions. We all Love our pastina. But no more. Not Ronzoni Pastina anyway. Yes, a sad day for us Italians. We will have to find another brand of pastina, even though Ronzoni's is our most beloved, it will be no more.


1 comment:

Maryann said...

I grew up on Long Island in the 50's and 60's Not Italian, but Italian neighbors and some half-Ialian cousins Oh Ronzoni! I remember the pastina, not just plain but spinach and carrot too. Bucatini or fusilli with meat sauce. Baked ziti, rigatoni, or mostaccioli, loaded with parmigiana. Spaghetti con aglio e olio. Maccheroni wih four cheeses. I learned to make 3 different meat sauces and my own Alfredo sauce by the time I was 13.
My cousins grew up eating more "shaped" pastas like wagon wheels, bow ties and shells. I also found a 1968 copy of the Polly-O cookbook and tried a number of their recipes.
Your blog brought back a lot of good memories. Thanks!