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Macaroni

Macaroni is a variety of moderately extended, machine-made, dry pasta made with durum wheat. Macaroni noodles do not contain eggs, and are normally cut in short, hollow shapes; however, the term refers not to the shape of the pasta, but to the kind of dough from which the noodle is made. Although home machines exist that can make macaroni shapes, macaroni is usually made commercially by large-scale extrusion.Mac and Cheese

Macaroni is a borrowing of the Italian maccheroni (plural of maccherone; "squashed"). There are a few theories on its etymology; some think it comes from Italian ammaccare, "to bruise or crush" (referring to the crushing of the wheat to make the noodles), which comes, in turn, from Latin macerare, meaning 1) to soak in liquid, to soften, or 2) to torment, to mortify, to distress (the term also giving the English macerate), while for others it might be the Arabs who invented macaroni in the Middle Ages.

Nevertheless, the academic consensus supports that the word comes from Greek μακαρία (makaria), a kind of barley broth which was served to commemorate the dead, which in turn comes from μάκαρες (makares), "blessed dead", and that from μακάριος (makarios), collateral of μάκαρ (makar), meaning "blessed, happy".

Italian linguist G. Alessio argues that the word can have two origins: the first from the Medieval Greek μακαρώνεια (makarōneia) "dirge" (stated in sec. XIII by James of Bulgaria), which would be passed to mean "funeral meal" and then "food to serve" during this office (see today's μαχαρωνιά - macharōnia in Eastern Thrace, in the sense of "rice-based dish served at the funeral"), in which case the term would be composed of the double root of μακάριος "blessed" and αἰωνίος (aiōnios), "eternally", and the second from the Greek μακαρία "barley broth", which would have added the suffix -one.

Macaroni is not necessarily associated with the "elbow" shape commonly found in American-style macaroni and cheese.  "Elbow macaroni" is also used in a milk pudding, similar to other milk puddings (such as rice pudding) called macaroni pudding, and is also popular among children for homemade arts and crafts projects.

In areas with large Chinese populations open to Western cultural influence, such as Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia and Singapore, the local Chinese have adopted macaroni as an ingredient for Chinese-style Western cuisine. In Hong Kong's cha chaan tengs ("Chinese diner") and Southeast Asia's kopi tiams ("coffee shop"), macaroni is cooked in water and then washed of starch, and served in clear broth with ham or frankfurter sausages, peas, black mushrooms, and optionally eggs, reminiscent of noodle soup dishes. This is often a course for breakfast or light lunch fare.

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