The secret to the best macaroni and cheese isn’t what you think


The best macaroni and cheese is one life’s tasty indulgences. Warm, gooey, comforting in a single bite, but there is a secret to the tastiest version.

Have you ever had the best macaroni and cheese? That statement might be impossible to answer. Grandma makes a mac and cheese that is a family favorite. Maybe your favorite restaurant has the most decadent version. Many people might tout the notion that theirs is the best. Can you guess the one thing that makes one recipe be better than another?

Most likely, people would probably say the cheese sauce. While cheese is essential to a macaroni and cheese, I would wager that the cheese sauce is the second most important factor.

Cheese sauce depends on a person’s flavor preferences. One person might prefer a sharp cheddar while another person might perfect a blend of cheeses. Heck, some people might like that blue box variety because it brings back a childhood memory.

In any case, the cheese sauce is important, but it doesn’t necessarily denote the best macaroni and cheese. Having enjoyed all types of recipes over my life, that ingredient doesn’t set one bowl apart from another. Still, wondering that that secret could be?

Other macaroni and cheese topics can be debatable. Some people love a baked version with bread crumbs on top. While other people definitely scrape off that crunchy, buttery topping.

Similarly, many people love other ingredients mixed into their macaroni and cheese. Remember when lobster mac and cheese flooded restaurant menus? While these extras can make the dish quite enjoyable, those extras still don’t set one bowl of macaroni and cheese apart from another.

The secret to the best macaroni and cheese is simple, it is the pasta. If the pasta doesn’t work in the bowl, the whole dish is a failure.

From overcooked pasta to overly al dente, poorly cooked pasta will ruin any and every macaroni and cheese. Sure, the concept might be incredibly simple, but so is this dish. If the base of the dish is wrong, the whole experience is ruined.

Of course, many foodies have seen Gordon Ramsay throw undercooked pasta back at a quivering chef, but properly cooked pasta is so important. It is time for everyone to finally learn to cook pasta correctly.

From seasoning the water to ensuring the water is boiling, there are many simple concepts that can make a difference in your pasta. No one is saying that you should make your own pasta from scratch every time, but at least cook that boxed pasta well.

If your pasta isn’t cooked well, all that delicious sauce won’t stick to the noodle. The bite won’t be enjoyable. In turn, that dish will never live up to all its potential.

Next time you are wanting to make some of the best macaroni and cheese, start with the basics, the pasta. With that one concept mastered, you will be on the way to some delicious bites.

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