Is "Lander Macaroni" A Real Dish?
January 5, 2009 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Does a dish named Lander Macaroni really exist, or is it a figment of my wife's imagination?

She seems to remember it included potato, but wasn't convinced it was made with cheese. Sink your teeth into that one!
posted by roryks to Food & Drink (14 answers total)
It would help to know where your wife grew up - or where/when she encountered this dish, and maybe what ethnic group or community it's associated with.

My first instinct is that an example of "macaroni" (pasta) made with potato is gnocchi, but I've never heard it called by that name.
posted by Miko at 9:20 AM on January 5, 2009

This is a long shot but could she be thinking of Macaroni de l'Alpage? It's made with potatoes and swiss cheese.
posted by atropos at 9:27 AM on January 5, 2009

It's definitely hot, right? There are macaroni/potato salads out there, for instance. (I had some in Hawaii.)
posted by cabingirl at 10:04 AM on January 5, 2009

I put forth my best google fu effort and could only come up with Ann Lander's meatloaf (scroll down til you see it) and pecan pie. I don't know if Mrs. Lander makes a macaroni but it might be worth a look. Btw pecan pie is awesome and should be make instead of Mac and Cheese.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:27 AM on January 5, 2009

Could it be a camping recipe? NOLS in Lander, WY might have named a dish after their hometown, though googling isn't bringing anything up. Macaroni with potato (especially dried potatoes) sounds very much like a backpacking sort of meal.
posted by vytae at 10:31 AM on January 5, 2009

Could it be a local or family name for pasta e patate? It's a traditional homey Napolitano dish, sort of a loose pasta or a thick soup/stew, with very soft potatoes, tomatoes, and short pasta. I could see macaroni in it.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:38 AM on January 5, 2009

Those fundraising cookbooks that community groups (Kiwanis, PTAs, Girl Scouts, etc. etc.) often put out are chock-full of recipes with names like "Grandma Josephine's Trout," "Terwilliger Family Meatloaf" and so on. So it's likely that Lander Macaroni really exists. Just because Google doesn't know about it doesn't mean your wife made it up. If it's something she remembers from her childhood, have her go through her parents' cookbooks.
posted by sageleaf at 11:23 AM on January 5, 2009

Could it be Länder referring to Germany somehow?
German Potato Macaroni Dish
posted by FreezBoy at 11:32 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's not this recipe for mac & cheese, is it? The author's last name is Landers. Seems like a long shot, but I figured what the heck.
posted by cerebus19 at 1:09 PM on January 5, 2009

This reminds me of a traditional swiss recipe containing pasta, potatoes and cheese which is called "Älplermagroni" (i.e."alpine macaroni").

In this pdf, you can find a picture of "Älplermagroni" along with this description:
"Aelplermagroni – (Alpine herdsman's macaroni) is a frugal all-in-one dish making use of the ingredients the herdsmen had at hand in their alpine cottages: macaroni, potatoes, onions, small pieces of bacon, and melted cheese. Traditionally Älplermagronen is served with applesauce instead of vegetables or salad."

(I can translate a German recipe in case you need one, just drop me a mefimail.)
posted by The Toad at 1:46 PM on January 5, 2009

I bet it's from the area near Lander College (Greenwood SC) - right? I don't remember the exact recipe, but they showed it recently either in one of our local papers (Charlotte NC) or the Food Network - it's got canned tomatoes or tomato sauce, and cheese, if I remember correctly....
posted by lucydriving at 5:38 PM on January 5, 2009

How about Dunbar Macaroni - it's from Newberry, near the Lander College area?
Gourmet Magazine article by Pat Conroy
posted by lucydriving at 8:32 PM on January 5, 2009

Thank you all for your suggestions. I'm not sure we've landed (tee-hee) upon the right answer just yet, but we've given it a darn good try.

You might have noticed that googling "lander macaroni" (with the quote marks) hits up a tantalising tease. It reads as follows:

... such suffocating conservation as comfort presidential foods like hybrids lander macaroni and foreclosed congress cheese and woes shepherd's pie large ...

That seems to hint at an American connection, but maybe we'll never know - the link maddeningly leads to nowhere!

Personally, I'm liking Freezboy's suggestion that the German Potato Macaroni Dish could have originated in Länder, Germany - but my wife is noncommittal.

This questions sadly seems to have ground to a halt. However, if my wife ever vindicates herself I will be sure to post the answer here and close this off.

Thanks, again.
posted by roryks at 10:48 PM on January 6, 2009

Sorry this is so long in coming.

Without any further progress on this, I've given the best answer to Freezboy. From now on we're calling that recipe "Lander Macaroni" whether it's right or not!
posted by roryks at 9:27 AM on February 9, 2009

« Older Small Production Office Needs a File Server   |   What can I expect from my seat filler experience... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.