Apr 28, 2012

The Name by which we call Noodles in Cheese-based Pasta Dishes

We all have those little things that just plain bug us. Tiny things that shouldn't matter, but do.

...but when you find out that the entire premise of your annoyance is based on an invalid belief? That's a bit of a kick in the teeth right there.

Mac and Cheese. I used to get really annoyed if someone called a pasta and cheese sauce dish that was made with say, shell shaped pasta. Pfft, I would think to myself, That isn't Mac and Cheese. MAC and cheese is made with MACARONI. I was so sure of this "fact" that I would have had long, drawn out debates on the subject, had someone engaged me in it.

It turns out, though, that although traditionally Mac and Cheese is made with elbow macaroni, the term macaroni has nothing to do with the shape of the pasta. It has to do with the dough.

From Wikipedia: Macaroni is a variety of moderately extended, dry pasta made with durum wheat. Macaroni noodles 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.

I have no idea what those shells (or whatever noodle shape in question) were made out of. Who was I to say they weren't macaroni?

So, to all the people who I thought nasty, superior thoughts about when they called something like this (or this, or this) Mac and Cheese: I was wrong and I'm sorry.


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