This week’s theme for the DailyPost Weekly Photo Challenge is Dinnertime, which suits me just fine, albeit a bit restrictive, unless we all agree that we can have more than one dinner per day 🙂
Let’s start this week with some comfort food…
Pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded as early as the 14th century in the Italian cookbook Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest medieval cookbooks, which featured a dish of parmesan and pasta. A cheese and pasta casserole known as makerouns was recorded in the famous medieval English cookbook, the Forme of Cury, which was also written in the 14th century. It was made with fresh, hand-cut pasta which was sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese. The recipe given (in Middle English) was “Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh. and kerve it on peces, and cast hem on boillyng water & seeþ it wele. take chese and grate it and butter cast bynethen and above as losyns. and serue forth.” (“Make a thin foil of dough and cut it in pieces. Put them in boiling in water and seethe them well. Grate cheese and add it with butter beneath and above as with losyns [a dish similar to lasagne], and serve.”)
The first modern recipe for the dish was included in cookery writer Elizabeth Raffald’s 1769 book, The Experienced English Housekeeper. Raffald’s recipe is for a Béchamel saucewith cheddar cheese—a Mornay sauce in French cooking—which is mixed with macaroni, sprinkled with Parmesan, and baked until bubbly and golden. The famous British Victorian cookbook Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management included two recipes for the dish. One recipe states that “The macaroni, (which should be “tender but perfectly firm, no part being allowed to melt, and the form entirely preserved” – lest one be tempted to cook it for so long it actually disintegrated) is then topped with more cheese, pepper and breadcrumbs, before receiving a final dose of melted butter for good measure and being placed before a “bright fire” to brown the crumbs, or grilled with a salamander broiler.
In the United Kingdom, during the 2010s, it has seen a surge in popularity, becoming widespread as a meal and as a side order in both fast food and upmarket restaurants
Now that you’re hungry…what is your favorite mac and cheese recipe?
This image was shot with my Canon EOS 5D Mk II with an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens. Studio lights were used to get the specific look that I was after.
Inspired by Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Dinnertime