For years, the Castalucci family swore by a recipe for baked ziti that had won awards, wowed neighbors, and was the hit of every major holiday and party. After a thorough investigation, however, it is believed the Castalucci family has been following the recipe on the box of Ronzoni ziti, and now, nothing is as it seems.
The shocking revelation came as one anonymous eater contacted the media. In an e-mail they wrote:
For years I’ve had to live in fear of the Castalucci family. They knew what they were doing, but they refused to end their blatant misuse of fame and recognition in order to remain in power. When they realized I was on to them, they did everything they could to silence me. They offered me hush money at first, but even as I accepted it, they continued to be suspicious, eventually making threats. The emotional turmoil this has taken on me is irreversible. I will no longer live in fear, though. The Castalucci family follows a recipe for baked ziti off of a box of Ronzoni ziti. It may taste amazing, but there is a dark secret behind their success, and I am not sorry for bringing this to the forefront.
Since this e-mail came to the attention of the media, four more eaters have come forward with similar stories of the Castalucci family’s baked ziti recipe.
The Castalucci family has denied any wrongdoing. Tony Castalucci, one of six children and a 4th-generation Castalucci, posted on Twitter: “We deny any wrongdong (sic) whatsoever and we would like to take this time to spend with our family. Thank you for your support.”
Passing off a recipe on a box as your own is nothing new, however, the Castalucci family capitalized greatly on their baked ziti. They were often credited as having reinvented baked ziti for the modern age and became one of the most popular influencers in Italian food. The peak of their popularity came in 2002 when they won the Jimmy von Macaroni Award for Italian Food.
As for where these allegations lead, no one knows. The Castalucci family’s reputation has taken a massive hit, though, and demand for their baked ziti has decreased by at least 70% since the allegations came to light.
On Twitter, support for the anonymous eaters has amassed and the trending hashtag #PastaBox has been used in solidarity.