Where Does Louisiana Go for Mac and Cheese? Here’s Your Answer
Today, July 14th has been designated as National Mac and Cheese Day and hungry Louisiana residents will be out in force celebrating. Or, maybe they'll just pick up a box of the dry stuff at their favorite grocery store. If we're being honest, we really don't know who designated today as Mac and Cheese day, nor do we know why they selected this day in particular.
What we do know is that we are might darn glad they did because that gives us a chance to share your many thoughts on great places to enjoy the ooey-gooey goodness of one of America's favorite comfort foods.
When you break down macaroni and cheese to its basic components, it really is nothing more than a very wet cheese sandwich. Pasta, which is bread, is served in a cheese sauce. That sauce can contain a variety of seasonings and ingredients. It's that variety of seasonings and ingredients that create the discussion for "the best place to go in Louisiana" for mac and cheese.
We reached out via social media to see where you go to find your favorite mac and cheese and the answer didn't come as a shock. The most popular place to get a bowl of cheesy creamy goodness was home. Yeah, about a third of the people who responded to our query said the best mac and cheese was made by a family member, a friend, or the person themselves.
Mac and cheese is a very personal experience.
But as far as commercial purveyors of mac and cheese go, the two fast food places that were most often mentioned by our commenters were Chick-fil-A and Popeyes. Those two franchises know each other well from the "chicken sandwich wars" of the not-too-distant past.
The other "popular" answer that many of our commenters noted was "Kraft". Yeah, the mac and cheese you can buy in a box was more than good enough for many folks. I think what happens in a lot of Louisiana homes is that basic Kraft Mac and Cheese get a little tweaking. We might onions, peppers, celery or even bits of smoky bacon or ham to make our inexpensive comfort food taste "fancier".
Area restaurants that also made the cut were Don's Seafood Hut on Johnston Street in Lafayette. Also, there was a little love for Newks, Ton's Drive-In, and even Albertson's Deli. Other honorable mentions in the quest for the best mac and cheese include Broaddus Burger, Cracker Barrel, and Marcello's truffle mac.
The earliest known recipe for mac and cheese was reportedly found scribbled down in a cookbook found in Northern Europe back in the late 1760s. That recipe was recorded in The Experienced English Housekeeper, a cookbook from that era. You can actually buy the book on Amazon.com.
The recipe back then is very similar to today's method for making mac and cheese. It starts with a bechamel sauce, think roux, that is mixed with cooked macaroni and grated cheese. The entire concoction is topped with more shredded cheese and baked until bubbly.
In America, we owe the popularity of mac and cheese to Thomas Jefferson, sort of. It was Jefferson who brought back the recipe from Europe, but it was enslaved chef James Hemings who created the dish for Jefferson and his guests and that exposure is what put mac and cheese on the map.
So, whether you go out or stay in for your comfort food hook up with mac and cheese today just know one thing, you're eating history in every bite. You're also ingesting about 300 to 500 calories in every serving, oh and you might want to watch the sodium levels too. Bon Appetit.
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