Ingredient of the Week, November 3: macaroni
Pasta is one of America’s favorite foods. Last year, 1.3 million pounds of pasta were sold in American grocery stores.
Macaroni is a variety of dry pasta made with durum wheat. Elbow macaroni noodles normally do not contain eggs and are normally cut in short, hollow shapes, however, the term refers not to the shape of the pasta, but to the kind of dough from which the noodle is made. Masny Italian-Americans refer to all pasta as macaroni.
Noodles got their start in China, not Italy as many people might think.
Pasta made its way to the New World through the English who found it while traveling through Italy. The English made pasta by cooking it for about a half an hour and then smothering it with cream sauce and cheese. This was the beginning of Macaroni and Cheese!
America’s first large pasta factory was built in Brooklyn, New York in 1848 by a Frenchman who would spread out his spaghetti strands on the roof to dry in the sunshine.
In mid-18th century England, a macaroni was a fashionable fellow who dressed and even spoke in an outlandishly affected manner. The term pejoratively referred to a man who "exceeded the ordinary bounds of fashion" in terms of clothes, fastidious eating and gambling; a dandy. As in the jingle, "put a feather in his cap and called it macaroni"
How do you most often use macaroni? In macaroni & cheese, macaroni salad or something else?