Mac N Cheese: The History Of America’s Favorite Comfort Food

By | April 12, 2019

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The All-American macaroni and cheese (made with American and Cheddar cheeses) is served at S'MAC, a new macaroni and cheese restaurant on E. 12th in New York. Source: (James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)

Who didn’t grow up eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? It is a go-to favorite of kids, picky eaters, broke college students, and busy families. Since the boxed dinner debuted in 1937, it has been one of America’s favorite comfort foods. Mac n cheese has been around longer than the 1930s, just not in a convenient and cheap box form. Let’s look at the history of this popular comfort food

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Traditional Italian pasta making. Source: (

An Old Italian Dish

Food historians can trace the beginnings of macaroni and cheese back to thirteenth century Italy. In a text called the Liber de Coquina, we find the earliest written recipe for mac n cheese, written in Latin. The recipe called for macaroni pasta to be cooked in water and tossed with grated cheese…real cheese, not the bright orange powdered stuff that was to come.