Did An Enslaved Chef Bring Macaroni And Cheese To America? The Truth Behind Everyones Favorite Side Dish

Posted On: Dec 2, 2022   |   Posted By: Essence

Did An Enslaved Chef Bring Macaroni And Cheese To America? The Truth Behind Everyones Favorite Side Dish

By Patrice Grell Yursik · Updated November 23, 2022 There's a popular meme that gets traction around this time of year. It says, “You need at least three to five years of work experience and three references to make the Thanksgiving mac and cheese.” The notion is hilarious and relatable, because mac and cheese truly is that dish for so many of us. It is the side centerpiece, the casserole of consequence. Everyone wants a piece, and everyone's got an opinion. This decadent pasta dish can be traced back to ancient Italy, but to Black families across the diaspora, macaroni and cheese is ours. We can thank James Hemings, a man enslaved by Thomas Jefferson, for bringing the accompaniment to American tables. Macaroni and cheese as we know it dates back to Roman times. The earliest found mentions of a dish that combines pasta and fresh cheese can be traced to 160 BCE and Roman senator Marcus Porcius Cato's treatise De Agri Cultura. From the beginning, macaroni and cheese was made for rituals and holidays, intended...

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