pasta peril, or the possible end of soup as we know it

Dear Earth’s Best,

Oh no!

No no no no no. OH. NO.

For the last four years, the pasta of choice here at Alphabet Soup has been your Sesame Street Organic Alphabet Pasta. These friendly letters have been used exclusively for the many bowls of pub day celebration soups featured in my ongoing Soup of the Day series.

Recently I discovered you’ve discontinued this product!


I had been faithful to your alphabets for good reason. Not all alphabet pastas are created equal, and Earth’s Best really was THE BEST!

AS Kitchen Helpers give Earth’s Best six paws up!

It had nothing to do with being organic, or that cute picture of Grover on the box (he still does a happy dance whenever Carrie Jones’s name is mentioned). No, it has to do with strength.

While not the biggest letters once they’re cooked up, these guys stood up to being boiled, drained, sorted, then carefully lowered with toothpicks into soup without breaking.

If you accidentally dropped them, they’d giggle and happily bounce off the floor, all the while remaining intact. If you placed them a little too much to the left or right, they didn’t mind being pushed over a smidge or two. Once refrigerated, they retained their fresh appearance for two weeks, anxious to star in future soups.

But now, they’re gone. *bites knuckles*

Apparently you discontinued them sometime last Fall (?), but I only found out recently when I got down to my last half a box.

Oh sure, there’s some kind of replacement available with the same distributor listed. It goes by the brand DeBoles, Kids Only! Yeah, a red box, also organic, with slightly larger letters than before.


I don’t mind the larger size, but these letters are thinner and tend to break if you just look at them the wrong way. Wimps!

Behold imposter DeBoles along with store brand.


Earth’s best (left), teeny tiny store brand (center), DeBoles (right)

We’ve shopped around for other brands —  our local Giant has a store brand, but the letters are just too small. Amazon offers several others, but you have to buy a 12-pack for $40 or something. Can’t risk that.

Why, oh why?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Now I may need to get a new job, like selling vacuum cleaners or something. I just can’t see myself making any more pub day soups  without my favorite alphabet pasta. 😦

Earth’s Best, I’m hard pressed (and screwed).

Gone to pot,

Jama Rattigan
Former Head Soup Maker 

(Formerly your biggest fan who bought so much of this product I practically owned stock in the company.)

P.S. If anybody out there can vouch for Ronzoni, DaVinci, Hello Kitty, Racconto, La Moderna, Eden Organic, or any other brand, please let me know. I’m looking for medium sized letters that can stand a little handling, don’t plump up too much after cooking, and will photograph nicely.




Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

18 thoughts on “pasta peril, or the possible end of soup as we know it

  1. Oh, I hate it when that happens! For me it was the kind of soap that I’m not allergic to (compared to just about everything else). I’ll keep an eye out for alphabet noodles!


      1. Sadly, they had none. Plenty of EB cookies, crackers, soups, etc but no pasta. All Sesame St character except Grover represented…how sad.

        Start a petition and I’ll sign with you!


      2. Thanks so much for checking, Cathy. Feel sorry for Grover,too. I’m thinking of writing to EB to see if I can find out why they decided to discontinue their alphabet pasta. Probably a profit margin issue.


    1. Not to worry, Linda. So nice of you to check, too. Surely I’ll be able to come up with some kind of suitable substitute eventually.


  2. I’m so sorry, Jama, but your post did make me laugh a little, but with recognition. I have more than once felt the pathos of a product I love being discontinued.

    That picture of Grover examining the pasta is The Best.


    1. No need to apologize. I was smirking the whole time I wrote this. 🙂 I think the Earth’s Best people should send me their discarded stock.


  3. Okay, I know you’re doing this for visual, not culinary effects, but I have to say that the De Boles gluten-free pasta is gross. I have never tried their normal wheat-based pasta, but I just thought I’d mention it, just in case you needed further reason to avoid De Boles. 😛

    I really do hate it when a favorite product disappears. 😦


    1. Thanks for the heads-up about DeBoles gluten free. I’m not sure if they make alphabet pasta GF, but at least now I know to avoid all GF varieties thanks to you. I admit I haven’t tasted DeBoles regular wheat; like you said, my assessment is based purely on use for decorating soups.


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