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Mac and cheese said to have originated at Nahant House

NAHANT – Macaroni and cheese, the pantry staple that comes in the blue box, originated at the Nahant House, which was located in Lynn, according to at least one man.David Sarokin, who lives in Washington, D.C. and works for the Environmental Protection Agency, said one of his hobbies is FirstMention.com Web site.”I do a lot of very diversified work,” he said. “I have customers ask me about everything. I found a lot of people were interested in the origin of particular things so I set up www.FirstMention.com.”Sarokin said he was making his sons macaroni and cheese for lunch when he naturally started wondering about the origins of the dish.”I’ve really got to get a new hobby,” he chuckled. “So I started doing some historical research,” he said. “It seems like the Nahant House was the first establishment to offer it on the menu. It was offered as a dish there in 1859. About 10 years before it caught on elsewhere.”Sarokin said he could back up his claims of the first mention with a menu from the Nahant House, which is dated July 25, 1859.”Nahant and Lynn, both coastal towns outside of Boston, were happening places in the middle of the 19th century,” he said. “And as the cover of the above menu suggests, the Nahant House was an elegant part of the action. If you were dining on macaroni and cheese in 1859, you weren’t slumming.”Sarokin added macaroni and cheese seems to have come into its own as a dish of note in the mid-1800s.”Not that macaroni had never been combined with cheese before that time,” he said. “But usually, it was in combination with other ingredients – a few tomatoes, some sausage and things like that. But suddenly, in the 1870s, macaroni and cheese starts showing up all over the place – in advertisements, stories, news articles, home economics courses and eventually in grocery stores.”Despite its name, the Nahant House was actually located in Lynn at one time, according to Nahant Historical Society Curator Calantha Sears, Nahant ceded from Lynn in 1853.She said she isn’t aware of the eating establishment the Nahant House as being one of the first mentions of macaroni and cheese but she was intrigued by the idea.”If anyone has any additional information about it we’d love to have them contact the historical society,” she said.

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