These days some incarnation of macaroni and cheese seems to always appear on our social feeds, triggering our stomachs to let out a roar that would bring the Animal Kingdom to its knees. The ever-popular noodle dish leads to some pretty mouthwatering shots and is always a prime candidate to fill our bellies — lactose intolerance be damned.
A dish as lauded as mac and cheese must have been around for ages, right? Have you ever wondered what mac and cheese looked like hundreds of years ago? Perhaps in the 18th century?
Popular YouTube channel Townsends, picked up this macaroni and cheese recipe from 1784 to give us a glimpse at what the dish would look like in the way back when.
The channel is best known for recreating life back in the 18th century including how-to’s on tools, clothing, and recipes. This episode highlights how to make the historic “macaroni,” which was also a term used to describe a fashionable fellow back in that period. Let’s focus, however, on the variation of macaroni you can eat.
Tubular noodles are tossed into boiling water, cooked, and drained. The noodles are then thrown onto a frying pan where a gill (about half a cup) of heavy cream is added along with a ball of butter rolled in flour. The ingredients are cooked together for five minutes and removed from the pan. Finally, because it is macaroni and cheese, after all, a hefty amount of parmesan cheese is added to the noodles and toasted with a salamander (a tool similar to a branding iron).
The result is a dish not too far off from the beloved macaroni and cheese we see today. Check out the video to see how it’s done, or simply to admire the detailed sets from this channel.