When you think about comfort food, what comes to mind first?
It’s probably something warm, like soup or stew.
But how many people realize that one of America’s most famous foods was actually invented as a way to help feed soldiers during World War II.
Why Is Beecher’s Mac And Cheese So Good?
During the war, American citizens were expected to do their part by contributing food to the military.
In 1942, an army cook named George Washington Postle developed a new type of macaroni casserole.
The resulting product became known as “Postle’s Macaroni & Cheese Dish.”
Since then it has become one of America’s favorite dishes.
The following year, he took his invention on tour with him, selling the dish at local restaurants across the country.
By 1950, he had opened up 20 stores under the name “Macaroni Grill,” making this brand-new dish popular enough to be featured on television shows such as I Love Lucy.
Unfortunately, after two decades, Postle died from cancer before he could see his creation reach its full potential.
In 1984, however, another chef decided to take over the business and make it even better.
He added cheese and called it “Beecher’s” (named after the founder).
Today, both versions are sold side by side at supermarkets all around the world.
When we talk about comfort food, there is no doubt that Beecher’s Mac and Cheese is right near the top of the list.
But why exactly does it taste so great?
Is it just because it uses real milk instead of water?
Or maybe it’s because they use whole wheat pasta instead of white flour?
And why did they add bacon bits to the original recipe?
Let us find out!
What Is The Secret Ingredient In Beecher’s Mac And Cheese?
Beecher’s was founded by Henry Dreyfuss in 1874 in Chicago, Illinois.
He wanted to create an affordable alternative to expensive French cuisine.
His goal was to serve American families with dishes they could prepare themselves.
The company now specializes in boxed meals, but it also offers frozen entrees.
As its name suggests, Beecher’s has been making macaroni and cheese since then.
The base of this classic dish is made from three ingredients – milk, flour, and butter.
In addition to these basic elements, there are several other things added to give it flavor.
Some recipes call for onion powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, and more.
While some versions include heavy cream, others use low-fat cottage cheese instead.
Some add shredded cheese while others opt for fresh Parmesan cheese.
And finally, some recipes have bacon bits mixed into them!
It seems that no two boxes of Beecher’s Mac and Cheese are exactly alike.
So why do we love it so much?
Let’s take a look at the history behind Beecher Mac and Cheese to see if we can figure out the answer.
How Can I Make Beecher’s Mac And Cheese At Home?
Beecher’s Macaroni & Cheese was originally created by Henry Beecher, an American entrepreneur who founded the company in 1866.
He sold his business in 1875, but the brand kept expanding until it eventually became a staple on every grocery store shelf across the country.
In addition to selling packaged pasta with cheese sauce, Beecher’s also offered canned soups and stews, which were popular staples in households throughout the world.
So when the United States entered into World War II, the government found itself in need of more than just basic rations.
They needed something extra special to keep their troops fed—and they turned to Beecher’s for inspiration.
The company quickly came up with a new product called “macaroni and cheese,” which combined the two products they had already been making.
The result was a thick and creamy concoction that was an instant hit among servicemen stationed around the globe.
Soldiers loved this dish so much that Beecher’s even began marketing the frozen version of the classic dish back in 1945.
Today, Beecher’s still produces its original line of pasta dishes, including baked beans and chili dogs, but the company has since expanded into other areas of cuisine, such as breakfast cereals and snack bars.
And while you might not have thought of them before now, there are plenty of reasons why these products deserve your attention today!
What Is The History Of Beecher’s Mac And Cheese?
Beecher’s has been serving its signature product since 1868 when it opened on Broadway in New York City.
The restaurant was named after Henry D.
Beecher who bought the building from his brother-in-law George F.
Waring Jr., whose family had owned it for over 100 years before him.
They were called “The Three Brothers” because they each ran three different grocery stores within walking distance of one another along Broadway.
In addition to being a popular restaurant, Beecher’s also served as an informal meeting place where men could discuss their business.
When the United States entered World War II, the military wanted to expand their menu options so that service members would have more than just sandwiches to eat while stationed overseas.
This is why Beecher’s created what we now know as Macaroni & Cheese.
Macaroni & Cheese became very popular among both civilians and troops alike.
At the time, there wasn’t much variety in terms of the type of pasta used to make this classic American dish.
In fact, some restaurants still use elbow noodles today!
However, by the 1950s, all sorts of shapes and sizes began making appearances.
There are even some varieties made with actual macaroni instead of other types of pastas.
This trend continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
People started eating Mac and Cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
By the 1980s, it was considered a staple at every buffet table.
How Did Beecher’s Come Up With The Idea For Mac And Cheese?
The story behind this classic American favorite begins on November 23rd, 1941.
On that date President Franklin D.
Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, which required all businesses to sell their products at cost price.
The order also banned the sale of war-related items such as sugar, meat, butter, coffee, and eggs.
In response, General Mills announced it would donate $1 million to the Red Cross.
In an effort to make sure those donations were used efficiently, they decided to distribute the money by creating “comfort kits” containing canned goods, cereals, powdered milk, and dried fruits.
These kits were intended to be distributed to families who had lost loved ones or been displaced from their homes due to war efforts.
To fill the void left by wartime rationing, General Mills came out with Beecher’s Pastry Company, which made its debut on December 1st, 1942.
According to the company website, the name Beecher’s was chosen because it sounded similar to words like beef and cheddar, two ingredients commonly found in macaroni and cheese recipes.
Beecher’s Pastry Company produced its first batch of macaroni and cheese back on January 17th, 1943.
Within days, the company sold more than 20,000 cans of the product.
As demand grew, so too did production.
By 1945, Beecher’s Mac and Cheese contained over 70 different types of pasta and cheeses.
The following year, the company expanded into frozen desserts and snacks.
By the 1950s, Beecher’s Mac and Cheese sales reached nearly $50 million per year.
Today, the brand is still owned by General Mills, but has since undergone several changes.
For example, the original recipe is no longer considered authentic, having been replaced with a new version created specifically for children.
While the company says there are now four generations of chefs working to create the best mac and cheese possible, the original recipe remains unchanged.
You can find it online and purchase it at your local grocery store.
What Is The Difference Between Beecher’s Mac And Cheese And Other Brands?
Beecher\u2019s Mac and Cheese is an American classic that has been enjoyed by generations since it was introduced in 1943.
The story goes that Beecher’s came out of the Great Depression when the company had to find ways to keep its employees fed.
In order to do this, they created a new product called “Macaroni & Cheese” which was then served to customers who were struggling economically.
The popularity of this dish grew over time and eventually led to the creation of the famous brand we know today.
While there are numerous variations on this theme, all versions have at least some similarities to the original recipe.
In this article, we will take a look at how Beecher Mac and Cheese differs from other brands.
We will also talk about the ingredients used in each version of this popular meal.
How Does Beecher’s Make Their Mac And Cheese So Creamy?
Beecher’s makes its own unique version of this classic American favorite by using evaporated milk instead of regular cow’s milk.
Evaporated milk has been around since the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until after WWII that we started seeing more use cases than just baking with it.
In fact, it became popular enough to be used in cooking at restaurants across America.
By substituting evaporated milk into recipes, chefs were able to create an extremely smooth texture without having to add any extra ingredients.
You won’t find any butter or cream added to the mix either because they have already been removed from the original recipe when making evaporated milk.
The result is a dish that is rich and creamy without being too heavy on your stomach.
If you don’t want to cook up a batch of homemade macaroni and cheese yourself, then you can always order some online through Amazon Prime.
What Is The Best Way To Eat Beecher’s Mac And Cheese?
This is where things get interesting.
In 1939, the United States government asked General Mills to develop a new kind of packaged food for troops overseas.
The resulting product would be called “macaroni” because it was made from pasta instead of flour.
However, they needed a name for this new type of product, so someone at General Mills came up with the idea of calling it “Macaroni & Cheese” – which stuck.
military didn’t have much experience cooking meals for large groups of soldiers (aside from some canned rations), so they turned to American school children for assistance.
They put out a call on radio stations asking kids across the country to send in recipes for ‘macaroni’ and ‘cheese’.
Over 40,000 kids responded, providing over 100 different recipes for General Mills.
After testing each one, the company decided on three basic flavors – cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss.
General Mills then created an official recipe for these three types of cheese, along with other ingredients such as milk, butter, and cornstarch.
As part of the deal, General Mills agreed to donate $1 per box sold to support war efforts.
Soon after, Macaroni & Cheese became one of the bestselling items in grocery stores around the world.
So now we know why we love Mac & Cheese!
It’s tasty, it’s cheap, and it can even save your life if there ever happens to be any sort of emergency situation!
But what makes this particular version of Mac & Cheese special? Well…
- 1 Oven
- 1 Bowl
- 6 ounces penne pasta
- 8 ounces Beecher’s Flagship cheese
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 ounces Beecher’s Just Jack cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch garlic powder
- Set the oven to 350°F.
- Cook penne for 2 minutes less than recommended on the package. Put aside after a cold water rinse.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Mix in the flour. Cook for two minutes while whisking continuously. Add the milk gradually while stirring. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until sauce thickens. Get rid of the heat.
- 1/4 cup and 1-3/4 cups of Flagship cheese Just salt, garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. chile spice, and Jack cheese. About 3 minutes of stirring is required to melt the cheese and combine all the ingredients.
- Pasta and sauce should be gently mixed together in a big bowl. Fill an 8-inch baking dish with scraps. Chili powder and the remaining cheese are sprinkled on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes uncovered. Before serving, let the mac and cheese settle for five minutes.