Thomas Jefferson, the great importer of mac 'n cheese

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French, Italian, who cares?


How can macaroni and cheese be imported, when it’s not really macaroni and cheese without American Cheese?


Well, that’s a feather in his cap.


i actually have what is supposed to be his original recipe. it’s very simple, and pretty good, but not quite what we’re used to. from a historical perspective, it’s interesting. this is from Mary Randolph’s 1824 cookbook, “The Virginia Housewife,” and has been adapted for modern kitchens:

Thomas Jefferson’s Macaroni & Cheese

Butter, for greasing dish
16 ounces large elbow macaroni
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ¾ cup (packed) freshly shredded Parmesan
1 ¾ cup (packed) grated mozzarella
1 ¾ cup (packed) Romano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, but do not rinse.

In a large bowl, whisk the milk, flour, salt and pepper until blended. Stir in 1 ½ cup Parmesan, 1 ½ cup mozzarella, 1 ½ cup Romano cheese, and the parsley. Add the noodles and butter and toss to coat.

Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan, mozzarella and Romano cheese over the noodle mixture. Bake until the cheese begins to lightly brown on top, about 10-12 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!


You can salute him even more, by eating your mac & cheese while sitting in a swivel chair.


Yankee doodle, keep it up…


I’d think that it was developed from Noodle Kugel.

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For some perplexing reason, “large elbow macaroni” is no longer available in the United States. It’s been replaced by “penne” and “ziti” and the like. You can get small elbow macaroni, but not large. It’s extremely strange.

…delivered by dumb waiter.


maybe it’s harder to find by brand. i never see it from the likes of Barilla, but i think American Beauty still makes it.

I’m disappointed to learn that Jefferson used volume measures for compressible ingredients. And surprised that he had an oven thermometer.

…hence the “adapted for modern kitchens” part. : )

Sorry, I missed that bit. Still, modern kitchens do have scales.

a fair point, but most people aren’t used to weighing everything yet. ounce and cup measurements are definitely still de rigeur in the US.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

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haha, if you could see my kitchen… everything has post-its or tape or writing on it showing weights of various common measurements for each thing. it’s kind of crazy. i’m trying, i’m trying!

TJ was a complicatedly uncomplicated man, imo. AND, I like gouda in my mac.

Gouda is good, uh.

Flagged for obscenity.


American Cheese Food Product.


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