How To Eat Macaroni Cheese

We all know macaroni and cheese dishes are the penultimate comfort food, right? There is just something so gastronomically and palate-pleasing about the classic macaroni and cheese recipe. But did you know there’s a specific way you’re supposed to eat macaroni and cheese? And food experts are even saying there’s a proper term for it, as well, which is: Macaroni Cheese. Please refrain from calling it “Mac and Cheese”, they say, because the term is politically incorrect. Here’s how to properly eat macaroni cheese.

Macaroni cheese is an age-old casserole recipe that’s been around for a very long time – in fact, some say it was the very first casserole recipe ever invented. We can trace macaroni cheese back to the famous fourteenth-century French cook book, Liber de Coquina – the “Book of Cookery,” where the first macaroni cheese recipe was ever recorded as a parmesan pasta dish. Macaroni cheese also appeared in the fourteenth century “Form of Cury” - this time as a cheesy pasta casserole recipe called “makerouns,” which called for hand-cut noodles that were layered with cheese and butter. As far as American macaroni cheese goes, it’s said that Thomas Jefferson first encountered it during his travels in Paris and Italy. He so enjoyed the pasta’s unique shape that he sketched pictures of it in a notebook. He also enjoyed the flavour so much that he wrote down the recipe. Thomas Jefferson was so enthusiastic about macaroni cheese that he tried to bring it home with him from Europe. He commissioned the American ambassador to Paris, William Short, to purchase a special machine that made pasta. To his great disappointment, they could not get the pasta machine to work, and so he resorted to importing macaroni and parmesan cheese from France. Jefferson persisted in introducing macaroni cheese to his American homeland. Finally, in 1802, he served it at a state dinner as “macaroni pie.” After this seminal occasion, macaroni cheese pie started catching on as news of this special recipe spread. Today, macaroni and cheese is so popular in the US that it’s almost considered to be an American invention that even has its own holiday. Americans celebrate every July 14th as “National Macaroni and Cheese Day.”

We may know macaroni cheese is a mouth-watering comfort food, but does it actually have any nutritious value that might help us feel even better about consuming it? When it comes to macaroni nutrition, one cup of cooked macaroni is only 221 calories, contains calcium, is very high in selenium, and high in iron. One slice of cheddar cheese, a popular macaroni cheese ingredient, is 113 calories, high in calcium and phosphorus, and it also contains vitamin A, and iron. Finally, one ounce of parmesan cheese is very high in calcium and phosphorus, and also contains vitamin A.

So, macaroni cheese does indeed have a fair number of nutrients – and can have even more if you decide to add vegetables to it. For maximum nutritional value, do try to buy organic ingredients whenever you can. If you are vegan or happen to be dairy-free, it’s good to know there are a growing number of vegan dairy substitutes available these days, so you can get your comforting macaroni cheese fix every now and again, too.This fun, tongue-in-cheek article on the proper way to eat your macaroni cheese comes from “The Guardian” website, where you can find other great articles on food, lifestyle, health, fitness, and culture.*

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