Like other common American meals, macaroni and cheese was a dish developed by English settlers who brought over pasta (macaroni specifically) from Europe and began serving it covered with a cheese-and-cream mixture. It was actually a wealthy man's meal until industrialization made the mass production of pasta possible, lowering the cost. Then, in 1937, Kraft Foods came out with a boxed version, and the meal became insanely popular.
Boxed mac and cheese, which many people grow up eating, is made by boiling or microwaving the macaroni noodles, then adding butter, milk and the packaged cheese sauce. Lots of families dress it up by adding sliced hot dogs or cold cuts, which also makes it a more substantial meal. Purists, however, prefer the homemade version, layering cooked macaroni in a baking pan, then topping it with a mixture of melted cheeses, butter, milk and flour. Finally, they place a butter-and-bread-crumb mixture on top and bake the dish
Mac and cheese is so popular, it has spawned numerous similar foods, such as deep-fried mac and cheese bites and mac and cheese pizza. Will mac and cheese ice cream be next?