You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Friday, October 18, 2013

Macaronis and Yankee Doodles

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
This week's A to Z blog hop letter is M.

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.
        Macaroni was the name given in the 1770s to an extravagantly dressed man, who wore bizarre and over-the-top fashions such as narrow breeches and short, tight waistcoats, usually decorated with large buttons and lace. Macaronis also wore high heeled shoes and small hats. They would often carry a posey of flowers in their hands or pinned to their waistcoats.

Clerical Macaroni
        The name came from people who had been on The Grand Tour of European countries who liked all things foreign, especially food and who referred to something that was Italian in style as very Macaroni. Macaronis, or fops as they came to be known, frequented the fashionable places of London and won and lost vast fortunes gambling.
        The newspapers of the day often made fun of them. For example, The Oxford Magazine published this account: “There is indeed a kind of animal, neither male, nor female, a thing of neuter gender, lately started up among us. It is called a Macaroni. It talks without meaning, it smiles without pleasure, it eats without appetite...”
        The British employed the song as a dig at people from the American colonies who they thought were trying to give themselves airs and graces but looking ridiculous. During the Revolutionary War, the colonists reclaimed the song and made it their own patriotic song.
        Speaking of macaroni as a food, macaroni and cheese was a favorite dish of colonists, especially Thomas Jefferson. In 1787, upon his return to America from his tour as minister to France, Jefferson brought back a pasta machine he had bought in Italy. He improved on the design of the machine and also came up with recipes that included not only American or English cheddar cheese, but also goat cheese and truffle cheese.
Thomas Jefferson's pasta machine design.


  1. I always learn such fascinating historical tidbits here, Susan. Maybe that's why mac & cheese is a comfort food now. :)

    1. Thanks, Dora. It was a surprise to find that mac and cheese was served during colonial times.

  2. That was very interesting! I've wondered about what that meant.

  3. Thanks, Barbara. It's amazing sometimes to find out the history and background of words and phrases we use.

  4. I love this story about Macaronis. :-) By the way, I had the most AMAZING macaroni and cheese dish at a restaurant in Nashville last week. White cheddar. It was to die for, seriously. I've never had such a delicious bowl of pasta. I've got to learn how to make it!