By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com September 30 2013 5:00 AM ET
When Guido Barilla, chairman of Italy-based Barilla Pasta, said that his company will never use a gay couple in his ads and if that angers LGBT folks, they should just eat someone else's pasta, countless LGBT people and straight allies around the world did just that. Despite repeated attempts at apologizing, including a video message where the Barilla chairman promised to meet with "representatives of the group that best represent the evolution of the family, including those who have been offended by my words," the calls to "Boycott Barilla" continue.
To help you spend your hard-earned gay dollars on worthwhile brands, we've collected six fabulous gay-friendly pasta brands that can easily replace Barilla's spot in your pantry.
Want classic Italian you can find at the grocery store? Bertolli is your pasta. The German arm of the company took to social media Friday morning to distinguish itself from its gay-hating B-named competitors with a new image (above) accompanied by the caption "Love and pasta for all!" ("Pasta und Liebe fur alle!")
"We just wanted to spread the news that Bertolli welcomes everyone, especially those with an empty stomach," a spokesperson for Orca im Hafen, Bertolli's social-media agency in Germany, tells AdWeek, which points out that the brand has been gay-friendly in the U.S. for years too. Here’s an ad to prove it:
Wanchai Ferry Wontons and Dumplings
Pasta doesn’t always mean Italian. Originally started by Madame Chong, a woman who sold handmade dumplings from a wooden cart at Hong Kong's Wan Chai Ferry Pier in the 1970s, this brand is now owned by General Mills, a company that got a 100 rating on Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. That means the company offers its LGBT employees the best policies in the country. And consumers vote Wanchai Ferry foods among their favorites. Get a taste for yourself here.
Founded by David Bowen and Bill Curtis in Denver in 1984 — when pasta in the U.S. was generally limited to the one basic flavor — Pappardelle’s began as a maker of super small-batch, handmade pasta in a variety of flavors, which the men would create every day at 3 a.m., then deliver to farmer’s markets and white tablecloth eateries in their beat-up Chevy Malibu. Today, though the company is bigger and its products are a staple at the Colorado governor’s mansion, it’s still a favorite in 200 farmer’s markets. And even though it has new owners, it has the same great gay fan base. And we all know you can’t be homophobic and survive a farmer’s market crowd.
Also jumping at the chance to take advantage of the hot water its competitor found itself in, Buitoni shared the image at right on its Facebook page Friday. When a commenter wrote that they preferred Barilla, and alleged Buitoni had dealt a "pretty low blow," a Buitoni representative replied on Facebook. "Yes, we at Buitoni are a family that loves pasta," the representative wrote. "And we recognize that everyone has a personal perspective, so please let's respect those differences." Buitoni USA is owned by Nestle, which scored a perfect 100 on HRC's most recent Corporate Equality Index.
This Brooklyn-based producer makes small-batch, freshly extruded gourmet pastas that are both amazing and amazingly popular with LGBT foodies. That might have something to do with the cute co-owners, Scott Ketchum and Steve Gonzales. Or it could be because Sfoglini makes amazing shapes and porous textures using traditional bronze dyes, and the mouth feel is topped only by the taste. Among the customer favorites: the porcini trumpets, cuttlefish spacatelli, and the Bronx Brewery BXB Radiators, with five five different barley malts. Oh, and you don’t have to live in New York; Sfoglini offers mail-order and a even a hipster version of the pasta-of-the-month club.
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
Yep, same cheese mix, same blue box, same great taste. And Kraft is at 100 on the HRC list, meaning it's just as good with LGBT equality as it is when you've got the munchies at 3 a.m.