Now that Spain, France and the United States have followed Italy’s lead and implemented modified conditions of confinement, scores of stories are coming out about what people are buying to prepare for their isolation. In Italy it was pasta and in the United States it seems to be toilet paper. Go figure. Yesterday I heard a story on the BBC World Service’s Global News Podcast (which I recommend, by the way) that in Italy, although the pasta aisles run low from time to time, a particular type of pasta appears to be the “Rodney Dangerfield” of pasta (young people, that means it gets no respect)- no one appears to be buying it! It is the penne pasta that is smooth, without ridges. We guess that is because the smoothness hampers the ability of a meat sauce from clinging to the pasta.

Empty Streets of Porta Romana