Origin of Mac and Cheese

Alayna Jones, Reporter

Mac and Cheese. A classic American dish. Almost everyone has experienced the iconic Kraft boxed mac and cheese, but this food has a captivating back story. 

In the article “Marvelous Mac and Cheese” by Jesse Rhodes, he states, “A staple of American cuisine, the creamy combo made its way to the United States courtesy of Thomas Jefferson, who, while visiting France, became enamored with fashionable pasta dishes served there.” President Jefferson loved this dish so much that he served it at a state dinner in 1802. This meal never ceases to amaze, but the rise in popularity during the Great Depression is even more impressive. 

One of the cheapest foods available during the Great Depression was Kraft macaroni and cheese. “The product could serve four for 19 cents, and the company sold 8 million boxes of its quick-and-easy macaroni and cheese in a year. With rationing in effect during World War II, the boxed mix continued to gain in popularity; staples such as fresh meat and dairy were in short supply.” Rhodes remarked.  This revolutionized the popularity of macaroni and cheese. Now, restaurants and home bakers themselves experiment with this historical dish. 

Macaroni and cheese have been one of America’s popular dishes since President Jefferson introduced it in 1802. The strikingly simple taste and idea provide a sense of comfort to Americans. This symbolizes the perseverance and the hard work that the country can execute to serve its citizens.