About National Macaroni Day
Thomas Jefferson introduced pasta to the Americas after first tasting it in Naples, Italy. He was the American Ambassador to France at the time. In 1789, he brought the first pasta machine, along with crates of macaroni, back to the United States.
Even though pasta is thought of as an Italian delicacy, it originated in China as early as 5,000 B.C. Another common misconception is that Marco Polo introduced Chinese pasta to Italy… In fact, another Genoan soldier requested “bariscella penia de macarone” – a small basket of macaroni- in his will some 16 years before Marco Polo returned from his travels to China.
In Hong Kong, macaroni is traditionally a breakfast food, cooked with mushrooms, peas, ham, eggs, and chicken stock.
Why did Yankee Doodle stick a feather in his cap and call it macaroni? In the 18th century, fashionable men who wore expensive Italian clothes were called macaroni, another word for “dandies.” The patriotic song is a jab at Americans who were so boorish that they thought even the simple addition of a feather would make them fashionable.