i have a culinary rant that needs ranting. it's small and insignificant as rants go, but there are some who will agree with me that enough is enough. i'm talking about the recently re-discovered and consequently ubiquitous mac'n'cheese. what's wrong with good old macaroni with cheese? NOTHING! nothing at all in its natural state wherein macaroni is smothered in vast quantities of cheesy sauce, and covered in a gorgeously browned gooey cap of molten cheese.
alas, this is not the way most places serve it. typically, you get a dish of macaroni in béchamel sauce with a more or less generous sprinkling of grated cheese on top. now many foods get served with a sprinkling of cheese on top without warranting the "n'cheese" in the title. if you only put cheese on top, you're basically using it as a garnish and garnishes don't deserve their own name. you don't order an omelette'n'parsley'n'tiny-slice-of-desiccated-orange, do you? why should this be any different? my point is this (as always, eventually, there is a point), macaroni in béchamel sauce sprinkled with some cheese is NOT mac'n'cheese; it is mac'n'béchamel... with a garnish.
proper macaroni and cheese requires that the béchamel sauce be knee-deep in cheese, insofar as béchamel sauce can be seen to possess knees, and that there be a generous, nay! a heaping! amount of molten cheese on top, as an added bonus not as a half-hearted nod to the dish's name. one shouldn't wonder what kind of cheese, or if any cheese at all, was used in the making of this dish. a proper mac'n'cheese should ooze. it should holler its cheesiness from the rooftops, making the vegan and the lactose-intolerant quake in their boots.