What is Macaroni and Cheese (Mac and Cheese)?

Comfort Food

by Liam Clark

It’s perhaps best known as simply Mac and Cheese (American English) even if it has its variations depending where you are. For example Macaroni Pie in Caribbean and macaroni cheese in the UK and Canada. So what is this popular dish really?

Well, not surprisingly it consists of cooked macaroni pasta and a cheese type of sauce, mainly cheddar. There are of course variations with other ingredients such as breadcrumbs, vegetables, meat and more.

Mac and Cheese

Looking back as far as the 14th century where pastas and cheese casseroles where featured in the Italian cookbook Liber de Coquina says it’s been around for some time before hitting US soil. It was Thomas Jefferson that first tasted the macaroni dish in Paris and Italy, and then decided to write down notes of the tasty experience and later import both macaroni and Parmesan cheese. He then decided to serve macaroni pie at a state dinner, and it started to become a regular visitor in American cookbooks. The rest is history.

Even a simple dish as Mac and Cheese can taste so different depending on who is making it and more important, what types of pastas and cheeses being used. Even if the most common cheese to be used is mainly cheddar other variations could be Gruyere, Gouda, Havarti and Parmesan Cheese.

Normally Mac and Cheese can be made by simply put slices of pasta and cheese in different layers, sometimes with butter and milk in between. You can also find chefs using different types of toppings to make things a bit more adventurous and to create different taste variations.

With regards to extra ingredients you will find dishes that include tomatoes, onions, Tabasco sauce, beef, sliced hot dogs and the list of creativity goes long.

There’s little doubt that Mac and Cheese is here to stay as its popularity grows with new places serving the delicious dish in different variations, all to satisfy your cravings.

Some popular Mac and Cheese recipes: