National Mac and Cheese Day Date in the current year: July 14, 2023

National Mac and Cheese Day National Mac and Cheese Day celebrates one of the most popular American comfort foods. Observed every July 14, it is the perfect occasion to indulge in delicious macaroni and cheese and experiment with new recipes.

Macaroni and cheese, commonly referred to as simply mac and cheese, is a casserole dish consisting of cooked macaroni (a type of pasta) and a cheese sauce. It can be served both hot and cold, as a main dish or as a side dish.

The history of pasta and cheese casseroles can be traced back to the 14th century. They are mentioned in at least two medieval cookbooks, the Liber de Coquina (Italy) and The Forme of Cury (England). The first modern macaroni and cheese recipe can be found in The Experienced English Housekeeper, a cookbook written by Elizabeth Raffald and published in 1769.

The recipe for macaroni and cheese was brought to the United States by Thomas Jefferson, or, to be more precise, by his slave James Hemings who accompanied Jefferson to France and studied to become a chef there. Upon their return to Monticello, Hemings came up with “a pie called macaroni” that Jefferson served at a state dinner in 1802.

Throughout the 19th century, macaroni and cheese recipes were included in a number of influential cookbooks such as The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph, Hand-book of the Useful Arts by Thomas Antisell, and an 1861 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. Originally considered a dish for the upper classes, macaroni and cheese became more accessible and affordable by the end of the 19th century.

In 1937, Kraft Foods introduced boxed macaroni and cheese mixes with the slogan “make a meal for four in nine minutes”. The new affordable and easy to cook product was an immediate success in the United States and Canada. The popularity of boxed mac and cheese increased even more during World War II rationing because two boxes of mac and cheese could be obtained for one food stamp.

Today, mac and cheese is one of the most popular comfort foods in the United States and Canada. The traditional version of the dish is made with cooked macaroni pasta and a cheddar cheese sauce and baked in the oven, but there are countless other variations that may be made with other types of pasta and/or cheeses, incorporate additional ingredients, and be prepared on stove top or even deep fried.

For example, cheddar cheese can be complemented or substituted with other cheeses such as Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, or Jarlsberg. Extra ingredients that may be incorporated into mac and cheese include various meats (bacon, chicken, ground beef, ham, roast beef, sliced hot dogs, Spam), vegetable (broccoli, carrots, leeks, onions, peas peppers, tomatoes), mushrooms, canned salmon or tuna, bread crumbs or crushed crackers on top, and various herbs and sources for additional flavor.

The origins of National Mac and Cheese Day are unclear, but don’t let it stop you from celebrating. Observe the day by enjoying some mac and cheese and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #NationalMacAndCheeseDay. Depending on your mood, you can stick to your favorite recipe or experiment with different cheeses and toppings.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays

Country

USA

Tags

National Mac and Cheese Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, food days, macaroni and cheese, comfort food