On November 3rd, 2016, Keystone Bar & Grill proudly announced the launch of Keystone frozen mac and cheese. Spurred by years of customers calling for a retail option, Keystone’s famous pasta line finally reached Kroger’s freezer aisle in two flavor-packed varieties: Buffalo Bleu and BBQ & Bacon.
The demand for the gooey, golden dish came as no surprise. Mac and cheese has long held a special place in the hearts—and stomachs—of Americans. In fact, a recent poll of 10,000 residents in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky declared mac and cheese the #1 comfort food.
Though the dish has become an American culinary staple, the big, bold flavors of Keystone’s Buffalo Bleu and BBQ & Bacon are far removed from the simple mac and cheese first served in post-revolution America.
From (Mac)cross The Atlantic
In the early years of American history, pasta was a small import that enjoyed little success. First introduced by the Spanish, the ingredient lacked appeal and was too expensive for the common family. The curly noodles, however, soon found their champion.
In the late-eighteenth century, Thomas Jefferson encountered macaroni while visiting Paris. His love for the dish prompted him to bring several cases back to America in 1789 where he later served macaroni and cheese at a state dinner in 1802.
Following Jefferson’s example, wealthy Americans began serving the dish and importing pasta from across the Atlantic. As American factories began producing their own macaroni, costs lowered and it became available to the working class around the Civil War.
As time passed, pasta grew in popularity while macaroni and cheese developed into the feel-good meal that is loved today.
Oh, The Pastabilities
Every time you bite into Keystone’s mac and cheese, you bite into a dish that spans across American history to a founding father with a simple love for good food.
While Keystone’s Buffalo Bleu and BBQ & Bacon macs do not resemble the humble dish of Jefferson’s time, they strike the rich, comforting notes that have popularized mac and cheese for over two centuries. Mac and cheese remains a warm part of American history that continues to grace family dinner tables today.
Editor’s Note: Frozen mac + cheese is no longer available in retail stores.