The best macaroni and cheese recipe is a choose-your-own adventure

I’M HERE AS a macaroni-and- lover, not a macaroni-and- fighter. The title of the following — “The Actual Best Macaroni and ” — clearly indulges in hyperbole, for the actual best macaroni and is, of course, made the way you like it most. In this celebration of gluten and dairy, everybody should be a winner (except those unable to partake, and sorry!).

Personally, I like most every kind of mac and cheese: Give it to me (please), and I will eat it, and I will be happy. I will eat it at a fancy restaurant (probably with lobster in it, which is absurd, but I will absolutely eat it), I will eat it at pretty much any restaurant that puts it on the menu (and please do), I will eat it from a grocery-store deli counter (would 100% right now, actually), I will eat it frozen from Trader Joe’s (surprisingly decent, and made with cheddar, havarti, Gouda and Swiss), I will eat it from a box, etc. The only style of macaroni and cheese that I have trouble getting behind is the pasta-in-a-slick-and-shiny-Velveeta-type-sauce variety; I find the gluey factor a little off-putting, but if that’s your thing, all due respect to you.

And while the “comfort ” bromide has gone beyond overused, macaroni and cheese is undeniably helpful for blanketing the stomach when other and/or life in general seems challenging. Mac and cheese from a box not only pleases nearly all children; it is the ideal thing to consume between a violent 24-hour bout of poisoning and a family-mandated outing to the musical “Cats” immediately following (and may you be spared this experience forever and always). Macaroni and cheese from a hospital cafeteria might be the best food possible if you’re coming to after terrifying surgery and you’re more hungry than you’ve ever been and also quite high on pain meds and you order it plus a chocolate shake and then while eating it you feel more intensely than you ever knew possible the urgent…


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