Macaroni and cheese originated in the 14th Century. A Middle English recipe describes it as “Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh. and kerve it on pieces, and cast hem on boiling water & seeþ it well. take cheese and grate it and butter cast bynethen and above as losyns. and serue forth.”

Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese—also called mac ‘n’ cheese in the United States, and macaroni cheese in the United Kingdom—is a dish of cooked macaroni pasta and a cheese sauce, most commonly cheddar. It can also incorporate other ingredients, such as breadcrumbs or meat.

Traditional macaroni and cheese is a casserole baked in the oven; however, it may be prepared in a sauce pan on top of the stove or using a packaged mix. The cheese is often first incorporated into a Béchamel sauce to create a Mornay sauce, which is then added to the pasta. In the United States, it is considered a comfort food.

History

Pasta and cheese casseroles were recorded in the 14th century in the Italian cookbook, Liber de Coquina, which featured a dish of Parmesan … Continue Reading (7 minute read)

14 thoughts on “Macaroni and cheese originated in the 14th Century. A Middle English recipe describes it as “Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh. and kerve it on pieces, and cast hem on boiling water & seeþ it well. take cheese and grate it and butter cast bynethen and above as losyns. and serue forth.””

  1. I_might_be_weasel

    Basically, “make noodles”. Then, “cheese the noodles.”

  2. Brevity_Witt

    Losyns is the only one I can’t have a stab at .

  3. soylent_cabin

    President Thomas Jefferson [loved macaroni](https://www.storey.com/article/thomas-jefferson-pie-called-macaroni/) and popularized it in America during his presidency.

    > *Macaroni was an ancient Old World dish that Thomas Jefferson became smitten with on a trip to Italy. He was so entranced, he shipped a pasta machine back to America around 1790 and wrote of the dish.*

  4. Coldspark824

    “Take and make a thin foil of the dough, and carve it in pieces, and cast them in boiling water and seethe well. Take cheese and grate it and butter cast beneath and above as Loseynes (lasagnas) and serve forth.”

  5. MagicMirror33

    They really would have benefitted from spell check in the 14th century.

  6. readytoplaysomegames

    The “seeþ” means seeth and this letter þ is called Thorn a currently unused english letter use for making a th sound and through the years transitioned into looking like a y.

    For instance, “you” turns into “thou” and “ye” old pub turns into “the” old pub.

    I hope you learned something.

    Edit: hey my most liked comment. Woo

    Also reworded some parts so I don’t sound too tired.

  7. AdvicePerson

    Where’s the page of pointless life story before the recipe?

  8. el_tinkerer

    I sit opposite a lovely American chap at work.

    He wouldn’t believe me that “mac n cheese” is British. His exact words: ” Nah, Mac’n’Cheese is as American as apple pie”. I said well, about that … and about that apple pie … lol

  9. Dog1234cat

    Once you have cheese and pasta in the same room good luck trying to keep them apart from each other.

  10. TheRealIsNow

    I found this mentioned as an aside in Leonard Mlodinow’s book, “Euclid’s Window,” about the history of geometry and practical mathematics, which I highly recommend.

  11. kthulhu666

    I think I have some old, “Krafft Repast” with similar instructions. I need to clean my pantry.

  12. No-Pizda-For-You

    Now, thankfully, it’s much more convenient:
    “Taketh a sojourn to yonder purveyor of foodstuffs and buy a boxeth of thyne Kraftt macaroni and Cheeze. Get ye one pot of metal and fill ye pot with flowing water and placeth on yon stove to maketh ye water boil, boil ye macaroni and then cast ye boiled macaroni into yon colander, mixeth ye butter and cream and that packet of orangey yellow shyte and cast in ye macaroni”

    So much easier today!

  13. Christine OMalley

    So where is the recipe?

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