So Much Pasta, So Little Time

The 3rd Annual New Hampshire’s Own Macaroni and Cheese Bake Off takes place this Saturday, January 19. The challenge is that your $10 gives you three of the best hours (2- 5 pm) to walk through the door of the Courtyard Marriot at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord and sample the abundance of the most creative, cheesiest, tastiest (and one of the most popular) dishes of comfort foods. It seems this combination (of macaroni and cheese) has once again achieved a surge in popularity where it is now served in the most trendiest and popular of places.

Granite State Dairy Promotion is once again sponsoring this hugely popular event to highlight and support the vast array of dairy producing farms in New Hampshire. Their mission: to increase the sale and use of milk and other dairy products through promotional activities, nutritional education and to enhance the image of the dairy industry in New Hampshire.

Once upon a time pasta and cheese casseroles were found in cookbooks going back to medieval times. Fresh hand-cut pasta was sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese and presented to the upper class until about the 18th century. It was fashionable in Paris in the late 18th century. President Thomas Jefferson served a macaroni pie at a state dinner having tasted macaroni in Italy and Paris years before he came to the White House. As factory production made it affordable and accessible to everyone, macaroni and cheese lost its upper class appeal.

Since that time the dish seemed to have made its way across the southern states in America becoming a popular staple in many cookbooks. Now every American family more than likely has their favorite mac and cheese dish. It was traditional fare back in the day when families had one bread winner and creative means were used by the home maker to ‘stretch a buck’. The ‘blue box’ made it into many households when kids discovered a quick and easy meal they could easily prepare.

New Hampshire’s Own Macaroni and Cheese Bake-Off has seriously taken the challenge once again by offering average folks and professional chefs alike the opportunity to enter their best entry. The categories are: Best NH Made, Best Traditional, Most Creative or Exotic, and Best Restaurant.

I have no doubt the event will have “a standing room only, lines out the door crowd”. Never have I felt more like a cafeteria lady when doling out samples last year. I’ll be serving up my new creation titled: America’s Melting Pot Mac and Cheese. See y’all there.

Debbie Curtin writes stories about people, places, events and other topics of interest that engage the reader. As a member of the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Debbie keeps ‘in the game’ with other like minded people. She has been an artist and creative person all her life and uses the unlimited sources of inspiration that abound everywhere in her writing as another art form.

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