Why Do People Put Raisins in Mac and Cheese?

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Although mac and cheese tastes amazing as is, the dish is the perfect canvas for add-ins. We're talking cooked veggies, chopped meat, and condiments like honey mustard or Buffalo sauce. However, it appears some people add raisins to their mac and cheese, and we have questions.


Here's the deal: The unconventional food pairing first went viral in 2020. On Twitter, user @koelamar shared an image of musician Drake's birthday party menu. The second course listed several dishes, including mac and cheese with sundried tomatoes, capers, parsley, and ... raisins.

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The same menu was shared by Instagram user @draketeamdrizzy, who posts the latest news about the musician. Naturally, the dish raised some eyebrows, though some folks speculated that it might be a typo. After all, the dish listed right above was a grilled cauliflower featuring the same exact ingredients.


Now, it's still unclear if the menu was misprinted. But even if that is the case, it turns out mac and cheese with raisins ​does​ exist. In November 2021, TikTok user @texykitchen1 shared their homemade mac and cheese recipe, which featured — you guessed it — raisins.

But the food pairing isn't limited to social media. Back in 2015, ​Food and Wine​ shared a recipe for mac and cheese with radicchio, raisins, and fontina. In other words, it's been a thing long before Drake's alleged birthday menu went viral.


So, why do people add raisins to mac and cheese? One possible explanation is that dried fruits ​do​ pair well with cheese. Think about it: Charcuterie boards often feature sweet foods, like dried apricots and jams, alongside cheese and crackers. When you break it down, it's essentially the same ingredients as mac and cheese with raisins.

Some people also enjoy the combination of sweet and savory ingredients, like apple pie topped with cheddar cheese. (Yes, that's also a thing.) Plus, raisins might work especially well with certain cheeses, depending on your taste buds.


Still, considering raisins are usually associated with things like trail mix and cereal, it's no surprise that people are befuddled by the combo. But hey, if you happen to love the pairing, you do you!



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