“Yankee Doodle went to town, riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni”
Well not exactly macaroni as we know it. Even though American patriot Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing macaroni pasta to Philadelphia circa 1790 (he became a fan while touring Northern Italy in 1787), the macaroni in this Revolutionary War song was not made of semolina.
In the 1700’s “macaroni” was a LOL term used to describe a group of aristocratic men who fancied themselves as fashionable and dandy. They dressed in the “macaroni” style with flamboyant ruffled clothes, tasseled walking sticks and tall, powdered wigs with small tight curls.
Jefferson was not an ostentatious “macaroni”. His connection with the term was purely culinary. He was fascinated enough with the pirated noodle to invent a pasta machine of his own and used it
to make a patriotic pasta for his guests at Monticello calling it “Macaroni Pie”. Made with grated American or English cheddar cheese and then baked, it was the prototype of today’s mac and cheese.