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The History of Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is beloved across America. But where and how did it get its start? The exact origin of this popular dinner is unknown. However, it’s thought that macaroni and cheese most likely comes from Northern Europe; the earliest known recorded recipe for it was written in 1769. But how did it migrate to the United States? Well, Thomas Jefferson brought it. While visiting France, he fell in love with the fashionable pasta dishes served there and brought noodle recipes and a pasta machine back with him. He even served macaroni and cheese at a state dinner during his presidency! Then in 1937, Kraft Foods introduced boxed macaroni and cheese during the Great Depression; it cost just 19 cents and served four people. It was immediately embraced by the American public and its popularity continued during World War II as rationing took its toll on the Homefront’s supplies of fresh meat and dairy. Today, the popularity of “mac and cheese” continues to endure – it even has its own day of celebration on July 14th of each year!

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