While many Canadians would like to imagine we’re the kind of people who wake up early to stew tomatoes and make sauce from scratch, life often gets in the way. That’s where jarred pasta sauce comes in.
Whether it’s screaming kids taking up your time or a lack of funds, when you’re in a pinch, a jug of marinara on sale for $2 at Shoppers Drug Mart will go a long way.
But Canada quietly lost an icon of the industry this summer, as the U.S. company behind Ragu announced the sauce would no longer be sold north of the border.
WATCH: Pro chef versus home chef make ragu sauce. Story continues below.
“We regret to inform you that RAGÚ has made the hard decision to exit the Canadian pasta-sauce market,” a June 15 statement from parent company Mizkan America, Inc. reads. “We hope that you have enjoyed the delicious taste of RAGÚ and are very sorry for any inconvenience.”
While “ragu” refers to a specific type of Italian meat sauce, Ragu the brand has been around since 1937, producing an assortment of pasta and pizza sauces. From marinara to mushroom to assorted veg, it’s been hard to miss their lineup of jarred sauces in grocery stores across Canada.
The company didn’t give a reason for the departure and wouldn’t say if it’s tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, a banner on the company’s website acknowledges that the pandemic could affect supply of some products.
‘Here today, gone tomato’
While Canadians first noticed Ragu’s disappearance earlier this summer, things came to a head this week as we all faced the prospect of a long, Ragu-less future ahead of us. The sauce trended on Twitter for most of the day Thursday.
Many Canadians mourned the loss of a pantry staple.
Chad isn’t taking the Ragu news very well... pic.twitter.com/L9c2wBtR1C— Selene Evelyn (@seleneevelynn) August 20, 2020
Apparently Ragu has decided to pull its products out of Canada and this has ruined my whole day.— Sin & Tonic 🇨🇦 #Blacklivesmatter (@CrownsAndThings) August 20, 2020
I may have to employ one of my American friends to send me a case of it 😂
Absolutely pissed that Ragu has decided to pull out of Canada.... this is the thanks I get after being a loyal customer SINCE BIRTH— 🌻rey (@sunNslopitch) August 20, 2020
While others took the chance to express their strong opinions on the jarred pasta sauce market, including a lot of love for Classico and Canadian standards like No Name brand and President’s Choice.
No more Ragu sauce in Canada. Good ☺️ Classico is the ONLY one worth eating. Prego can get the hell out of here as well. pic.twitter.com/7wSAjGNvXX— Sébastien Lessard (@FootySeb) August 20, 2020
Ragu can show itself out... as long I still have this pic.twitter.com/AP66NB8lDk— SCA🇨🇦🇬🇧🍎 (@SCA77) August 20, 2020
Ragú this, Prego that, Classico the other... no name sauce literally costs like a dollar and genuinely slaps pic.twitter.com/us4vEklOrp— devon with an o 🕷🚬 (@thebigcrouton) August 20, 2020
Ugh..Ragu— ℳaryAnn❤𝕊𝕠𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕪 𝔻𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕟𝕥 (@cinemaven) August 20, 2020
My store bought goto is PC 7 veg primavera ..it's gloriously thick with good ingredients
Tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots (contain carrot puree, water), red peppers, onions, zucchini, celery, olive oil, salt, garlic, sugar, spices, citric acid pic.twitter.com/ndxD0Ijrdv
POLL: With Ragu leaving the Canadian pasta sauce market, what is you go to jarred pasta sauce?— PrimeBane the Monkey King™ (@PrimeBane) August 20, 2020
Write ins accepted.
No, I don't want to hear that you "only eat/make homemade" *shoo*
While others pointed out that it’s actually pretty easy to forget the jar and just make your own tomato sauce.
If you're upset that Ragu is no longer in Canada consider it a blessing, and make your own damn sauce. 😂— Dayna B (@daynabreezy) August 20, 2020
With Ragu gone I invite my Canadian pasta lovers to try buying straight strained tomatoes. All you need is some herbs, salt, peppercorn and olive oil to make a much better sauce than anything you can find in store for much cheaper . Mutti is my favorite but Aurora work in a pinch pic.twitter.com/8rPGyc3ueQ— Santiago Helou Quintero🌹🌱🇨🇦🇨🇴🇱🇧🎺 (@HelouQuintero) August 20, 2020
I, for one, will always look back fondly on the quintessential meal of my childhood — tri-coloured cheese tortellini from Costco with cold original flavour Ragu on top. It was affordable, tasty for kids and easy on my single mom who had a lot going on raising two kids on her own.
RIP to Ragu, a real legend.
We never appreciated the thyme we had with you.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada and has been updated.