Macaroni Papoose – Recipe Archaeology

The fun continues on Recipe Archaeology this week with a recipe called Macaroni Papoose.

macaroni papoose

Macaroni Papoose comes from a little pamphlet type recipe book called the Jean Rich Cookbook of Macaroni, Spaghetti and Egg Noodles from 1930. This cookbook was produced by the National Macaroni Manufacturers Association. The best we can guess is that this was produced as a tool to sell macaroni to housewives. 

It makes me wonder if a bunch of suites in the late 1920’s were sitting around in a dark, smoky boardroom wondering why their macaroni sales were down that quarter. “Okay fellas, the broads aren’t buying macaroni. Rice is making a comback. I’ll be damed if rice is going to beat us in sales this year. We gotta convince the dames that they need more macaroni. Everybody come up with three ideas of how to make macaroni sexy.”

The result of that backroom meeting was a little paper cookbook that incorporates pasta into breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

macaroni papoose

Under the picture it says that the recipe is from Fred Harvey of The Santa Fe. We just assumed that The Santa Fe was a hotel and Fred Harvey was the head chef. Sounds logical right? 

Apparently, we came to the wrong conclusion. A friend and fan of Recipe Archaeology informed us that Fred Harvey was the owner of a chain of restaurants in train depots. Back when people rode the train across the country for practical purposes instead of novelty vacations to sight see national parks, they needed a place to rest and eat at the train stops. The restaurants were along railroad lines, The Santa Fe being one of them.

I’ve also been informed that the Paul Harvey restaurants were a big deal. Being able to eat one of the restaurants and be served by one of the Harvey Girl waitresses was a fancy treat. Macaroni Papoose must be one of the recipes you could order at a Harvey restaurant or in the dining car as you traveled along The Santa Fe train route. 

macaroni papoose

If you decide to make this simple dish I suggest you dress up in a long, heavy black and white waitress outfit and pretend that you are a Harvey girl as you serve your family. I’m sure your kids will wonder if you have finally lost it. I say, nothing like keeping them on their toes with a little railroad and hospitality industry history lesson.

  1. Martin

    My grandmother used to make this dish, only with bechamel sauce and cheese (pineapples optional), and no horseradish..loved it growing up!

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