Macaroni is a corruption of the Italian maccheroni, which comes from the Latin macerare. The word means to bruise or crush; crushing wheat is how pasta is made.
In the United States and England, they call it macaroni and cheese. In Canada it’s Kraft Dinner.
Kraft sells about a million boxes of macaroni and cheese per day. All-time bestselling non-elbow shape: SpongeBob SquarePants.
Why did Yankee Doodle stick a feather in his cap and call it macaroni? In the 1700s, fashionable men who wore expensive Italian clothes were called macaroni, another word for “dandies.” The patriotic song is a jab at Americans who were so boorish that they thought a feather would make them fashionable.
The macaroni penguin, with black and yellow plumes on its head, is named after those very same dandies from “Yankee Doodle.”
Emergency tip: You can cook pasta in a coffee pot. Just put the noodles in the filter basket and fill the tank with water. The hot water cooks them.
The average American eats 19.8 pounds of pasta each year. The average Italian eats 62 pounds.
In Hong Kong, macaroni is traditionally a breakfast food, cooked with mushrooms, peas, ham, eggs, and chicken stock.
Thomas Jefferson introduced macaroni to the United States in 1789. He brought back a macaroni shaping machine after eating the dish in Naples, Italy.
There are about 350 different “authentic” shapes of pasta—meaning ones that originated in Italy.