It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Luigi Ravioli, the inventor of the spaghetti hoop. The product, variously sold under the names SpaghettiOs, Spaghetti Rings and Spagheinenzerofrankendorfs, originally reached the market in 1926 when they were sold as toys for particularly undemanding children. Seen by many as the precursor to the Gameboy, spaghetti hoops enjoyed a brief period of popularity before they were replaced by the next big craze, diphtheria.
Ravioli worked hard to develop new variations on the hoops in order to revive interest, experimenting with different colours and sizes, and even introducing a two-seater version. However, it wasn't until spaghetti hoops were relaunched as a foodstuff ten years later that they really took off, and they have been a favourite ever since.
Over the years the product has remained largely unchanged, although there was uproar in the UK in the early eighties when it was revealed that the hoops were roughly seven percent smaller than they had been ten years earlier. Manufacturers claimed that this was due to a change from imperial to metric measurements, but sales were seriously impacted. To try and regain some of their market share, Mr Ravioli expanded the range with new shapes. The move was largely unsuccessful as spaghetti squares tended to be structurally unstable and the sharp corners on spaghetti triangles were responsible for a number of high profile injuries.
One thing that has always remained a closely guarded secret is exactly how spaghetti hoops are made. Food scientists at NASA have made careful studies of the hoops and are baffled that the spaghetti forms a continuous ring, without any obvious joins or welds. Mr Ravioli's death means that there are now only three people in the world who know the secret of spaghetti hoop manufacture. Although Professor Mario Carbonara, the Nobel Prize winning inventor of high tensile fusilli, believes that he is close to cracking the secret.