The ultimate in comfort food, macaroni & cheese is always welcome at my table.Â A common dish and favorite of soul food, macaroni and cheese is traditionally made with cheddar cheese and elbow macaroni pasta.Â Packaged versions are available, consisting of boxed pasta and a cheese powder which is added to butter and milk.Â The electric yellow-orange color of the end-product inspired CrayolaÂ in 1993 to add a “macaroni and cheese” crayon to their extensive collection.Â ButÂ packaged versions areÂ for the birds, homemade is the only way.Â
To spice up mac & cheese, you can add just about anything.Â Ground beef, canned tuna, sliced hot dogs, tomatoes, onionsÂ or crispy bacon make fantastic additions to an already wonderful dish.Â Often macaroni & cheese is baked as a casseroleÂ combining several ingredients to form an even better experience.
Some believe mac & cheese was created by the founding father himself, Thomas Jefferson, who was known for his great interest in food.Â In a 1996 “Restaurants & Institutions” article, Barbare Matuszewski wrote that Jefferson served the dish in the White House in 1802.Â Food historian Karen Hess, however, states that he was not the inventor but returned from Paris with a macaroni mold.Â
AccordingÂ to John Mariani (almost macaroni), the author of The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, mac & cheese was first made in the 19th century, but took on great popularity in 1937 when Kraft introduced it as part of a Kraft Dinner.Â A company spokesperson stated thatÂ Kraft sells more than one million boxes of mac & cheese per day.Â That is a lot of mac & cheese, I dare say!
I stand by my statement that homemade mac & cheese is the only mac & cheese and I stay far away from the Kraft isle.Â Homemade mac is just as easy, takes a wee bit more effort and is not full of processed cheese or nasty little preservatives.Â It’s just pure, simple yum.Â
Stay tuned for the You’ll Never Go Back to Kraft Mac & Cheese Casserole recipe.