Macaroni and Hoop Cheese Recipe

| January 5, 2020 | 95 Comments

Macaroni and Hoop Cheese

Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make this old fashioned, Southern style mac and cheese. Made with hoop cheese but you can use any cheddar style cheese you prefer. Printable recipe included.


Mac and Cheese, enjoy!
Hoop cheese is an old Southern favorite cheddar cheese. It has a texture similar to a mild cheddar. The name comes from the round shape of the cheese mold during processing. Old country stores in the South sell it straight from it’s wooden box, sliced to the size and amount you request.


Mac and Cheese, slider.

The very first thing Mama taught me how to cook was Macaroni and Cheese. Yes, it came in a blue box and used some type of powdery cheese, but it was pretty popular and easy to make. And, even though that was a very long time ago, that same Mac and Cheese in the blue box is probably more popular than ever today. Smile.

Folks have come to know that type of Mac and Cheese as their favorite. Youngsters these days don’t really know any other kind. So, this version may be a bit of a surprise for many.

I’ve been wanting to make this Hoop Cheese version for a long time, and I’m glad to finally have the chance to share it with you here on Taste of Southern. It’s almost as easy to make as the blue box type, but to me, it tastes much better. It’s all about the hoop cheese.

Hoop cheese gets its name from the round molded shape the cheese is made and sold in. It’s generally about 40 pounds in weight and often wrapped in a red or black rind as its called. Sadly, this Farmers Cheese does spoil fairly quickly after it’s made. Some is aged, but most is not. As for flavor, it’s fairly mild, but most old Southerners love it.

You’ll still find it around Farmers Markets and in old Country Stores throughout the South. It’s often packed in a round wooden box and sliced at the point of sale. A good merchant can slice off a pound within just an ounce or so.

You’ll often find a much smaller piece sliced off and being sold with a small pack of soda crackers placed beside the register. I can’t resist those when I see them in a store. It just brings back all sorts of memories for me.

Mama use to slice it thin and place on white bread to toast it in the oven. Or, she’d cut it up in chunks and melt it in her cast iron skillet. We’d eat it right off the plate or place some in a hot Buttermilk Biscuit. I could go on and on about hoop cheese. Smile.

My brother gave me a couple of pounds of this for Christmas just a few days ago. He had his own grocery store for years and always sold Hoop Cheese. Now, he buys a whole wheel each Christmas and has it sliced and wrapped into one pound sections to give to his family, friends and Sunday School Class members as gifts.

So, when I got my slices this year, I knew I had to make some Macaroni and Hoop Cheese to share here. I hope you will get the chance to try it one day soon. I’d also love to hear your memories of Hoop Cheese in the Comments section at the end of the recipe.

Ready to give it a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Mac and Cheese, ingredients.
Macaroni and Hoop Cheese – You’ll need these ingredients.

You can order Hoop Cheese online from a good number of places. Here’s a North Carolina location that makes and sells it in case you’re interested.  Ashe County Cheese Company


Mac and Cheese, grate the cheese.
Begin the recipe by grating your block of cheese.

The cheese will grate much easier if it’s cold. Smile.


Mac and Cheese, prepare the pasta.
Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. But, cook it about 4 minutes less than the time it calls for. It should still have a little “bite” to it since we will be baking it as well.

Use a colander to drain the pasta, then rinse lightly under cold running water. Drain again.


Mac and Cheese, prepare your baking dish.
Prepare your baking dish by rubbing the bottom and sides with butter.


Mac and Cheese, add pasta and mayo to a large mixing bowl.
Place the drained pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add the Duke’s® Mayonnaise.


Mac and Cheese, add the evaporated milk.
Add the evaporated milk.


Mac and Cheese, add the ground mustard.
Add the ground mustard.


Mac and Cheese, add the paprika.
Add the paprika.


Mac and Cheese, add the grated cheese.
Add about 3/4ths of the grated hoop cheese. We’ll use the remainder in a moment.


Mac and Cheese, mix well.
Grab a big spoon and stir everything together.


Mac and Cheese, add to baking dish.
Spread the pasta and cheese mixture into your baking dish.


Mac and Cheese, top with remaining cheese.
Use the remaining cheese to cover the top of the pasta in the baking dish.


Mac and Cheese, baking time and temp.
Place the dish in your oven that has been pre-heated to 350F degrees. Let the mac and cheese bake for 30 minutes. It should be bubbling hot and just slightly browned on top.


Mac and Cheese, remove and let rest.
Remove from the oven when done. Place on a folded towel or rack and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes prior to serving. This time will help it to firm up a bit for easier serving. This dish is best when served warm so keep that in mind when cooking and serving.


Mac and Cheese, enjoy.


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Macaroni and Cheese, printbox.

Macaroni and Hoop Cheese Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Southern style Macaroni and Hoop Cheese. Hoop Cheese is an old Southern favorite, still found in old Country Stores. Easy to make.



1 box Elbow Macaroni (8oz)
1 lb. Hoop Cheese
1 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
1 can Evaporated Milk (12oz)
1 teaspoon Ground Mustard
1 teaspoon Paprika


Prepare pasta, cooking 4 minutes less than package directions.
Butter bottom and sides of baking dish.
Grate the cheese.
Drain and rinse cooked pasta.
Place drained pasta in a large mixing bowl.
Add mayonnaise.
Add milk.
Add ground mustard.
Add paprika.
Add 3/4ths of the grated cheese.
Mix together until fully combined.
Spread pasta mixture in baking dish.
Top with reserved cheese.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Remove and let rest 10-15 minutes.
Serve warm.


Can’t find Hoop Cheese in your area? You can substitute with a sharp or mild cheddar if need be.

Keywords: Hoop Cheese, macaroni, mac and cheese, Duke's mayonnaise, easy mac and cheese

Congratulations to our WINNER!

This Giveaway has ended. Here’s how it all took place.


Win the Taste of Southern $50.00 Amazon Gift Card.

We’re celebrating the beginning of our 8th year of posting recipes here on Taste of Southern. To celebrate, we’re giving one lucky reader a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card. Just answer our very simple question.

Question: Have you ever tried Hoop Cheese?

There is no right or wrong answer, just share a memory of hoop cheese if you have one, or simply tell us you’ve never tried it. Winner will be chosen at random at end of Giveaway. You must check back to see if you’ve won.


Rules. Rules. Rules.

Only one entry per person. You must be over 18 to enter.
Open to residents of the USA, with apologies to all our other visitors.
Contest ends at midnight Eastern time, Saturday – January 11, 2020
Winner will be posted on Monday, January 13, 2020

Check back at the end of the giveaway to see if you’ve won and to claim your prize.

Winner must claim prize by midnight Friday, January 17, 2020.
Winner will be asked to submit your full name and address to us should you win.
Your prize will be emailed after you respond so you can enjoy it right away.
Winner will be selected at random, via There is no right or wrong answer.

PS: Your Comment will not appear immediately, but be assured you’ll be entered if you leave a comment before the deadline. I’ll approve and post the replies just as quickly as possible. Thanks.
This Giveaway is totally sponsored by Taste of Southern. Amazon only knows me by my credit card. Smile.

Good Luck, and thanks for entering.


Your Comments:

Have you tried our Macaroni and Hoop Cheese Recipe?  How did you like it?

Share your memories of this dish with us. It will only take a minute or two for you to leave your comments in the section below.

Just remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone before they are approved for viewing on our family friendly website. Thank you in advance for sharing.

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Be Blessed!!!


You might also like: Sausage Balls with Cheese

Or, maybe this one?  Sylvia’s Foolproof Fudge Recipe

How about this?  Southern Pear Salad





Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (95)

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  1. Hello Steve,

    I made your Mac and Hoop Cheese this weekend using sharp cheddar cheese, which I grated for my family, and they loved it! My Daughter-in-law always helps me make one at Thanksgiving, and it is lots of work. Yours was so very fast and easy, and tasted like it took lots of time to do, and was very, very good! Thank you, you have saved me tons of time at the holidays.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Marilyn, I’m glad you tried our recipe, and happy to hear you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your results with us. Hopefully you want have to wait for another holiday to try it again. Smile. I do appreciate your visits and hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Bill says:

    The other day I started to get a real hankerin’ for some old style mac and cheese, so, as I always do in such cases, I checked your site. As they say, timing is everything and you had just recently put up this recipe. I was immediately caught by the simplicity of the style – no roux, no sauce – and thought/think I might have found just what I have been looking for. In my youth I remember really melty cheesy dish with no bread crumbs and such, and I’m virtually sure my mom didn’t use 2, 3, or 4 different cheeses. Hell, I doubt she even knew there were that many cheeses. I read through all your comments looking for comments on the technique, but it just seems that you have managed to stir up a mess of memories of childhood experiences with hoop cheese (I won’t bore you with mine), but I surely would appreciate your thoughts on the simplicity of the technique and how it compares to what has become the standard sauce method and whether you would prefer the red or black hoop if you could get either.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Bill, Thank you for sharing your comments with us. In my area, we pretty much only see the red rind or no rind at all hoop cheese. Personally, I prefer the milder variety over the sharp anyway, so it’s not a problem for me. The black rind is a sharp cheddar. As for the roux and sauce part, it’s pretty much a standard with macaroni and cheese these days. I like it too, but I do enjoy the taste of this hoop cheese variety as well. It’s just a matter of personal preference, but probably really depends on what you grew up enjoying. Smile. I do hope you enjoy the recipe. I’ll be waiting to hear your thoughts. I do appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Bill says:

        I admit it was a leap of faith to use mayo as a key ingredient in mac and cheese, but I’m glad I did. I found the texture of this dish surprisingly creamy and as cheesy as it should be. I made it with the red rind hoop and though it was fine, I believe that I will enjoy it that much more using a combination of a couple of young cheddars. Thanks again for a really cool recipe! 🙂

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Bill, Thank you for trying the recipe. I’m happy to hear that it turned out well for you and I appreciate you sharing your results and comments with us. Perhaps it will encourage someone else to give the recipe a try as well. I do appreciate all of your visits and I trust you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Martha Moser says:

    Our mother was raised in a Methodist orphanage in Ruston Louisiana. Her kin kept up with her and her 3 sisters. They were orphaned at the beginning of the depression and no one could take in 4 more little ones. We went back for visits every year. There was one old relative who had a grocery in the country around Ringgold. He had the hog meat in barrels, pickles on the counter and big hoops of cheese. We’d eaten all the things he offered all our lives I’d just never seen them like that. An old woman traipsed in with about 7 kids in tow. She popped that brown sack open, grabbed the hook off the wall and brought back about 3 big hunks on that hook. Like fishing in a barrel. She caught her limit with one cast. We weren’t any better or fancier than the next, we just didn’t go to town to shop. Too many of us. I’ve cooked, served and eaten hoop cheese my whole life but after that when my sister and 4 brothers get together that story gets told. When Mama was alive we’d tease her. “That old woman brought 7 kids with her. We think you didn’t take us because you didn’t want to have to buy 5 sacks of penny candy to keep us occupied”.
    Oh to go back to the absolute Good Old Days

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Martha, Thank you for sharing your memories of Hoop Cheese with us. I enjoyed reading your comments. Seven kids is a lot of little people. Smile. And, thank you for the reminder about the penny candy. Can you believe we use to by pieces of candy for a penny each? I always liked Mary Janes. I’ve seen them since in stores for a nickel or a dime each now. And they’re smaller than what I remember we got for a penny. Yes, those were the Good Old Days. Smile. I do appreciate your stories and your visit today. I hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Bill says:

        Steve, lots of fun stories and memories about hoop cheese, but I was most interested in your technique. Every recipe around today seems to start with a roux and a sauce, but I just don’t remember my mom ever doing that. I found the hoop cheese and I’m going to do this recipe tonight; I hope this is the one that takes me back to my own memories of hoop cheese!

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Bill, I’m glad you found some Hoop Cheese and that you’re going to try our recipe. I do hope it’s like what you remember and that you enjoy it. It’s probably good that I can’t get my hands on Hoop Cheese often, I’d be eating too much of the stuff. Smile. Thank you for your visit today. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Dorothy Berry says:

    Steve, this recipe is WOW. I made it for a function, my friend Ruth made a variation, she has never cooked with cheese as her husband is intolerant to it. I stuck to your recipe for the main part, but as we don’t get Dukes I added two extra egg yolks to my home made mayonnaise and also added paprika (the ordinary, not the smoked). I found on the web that’s what makes Dukes different. Also I used my own special topping with butter and stale breadcrumbs added to the cheese. Ruth added shredded chicken breast, used my mayo recipe and used your topping – but – she found she had no evaporated milk in the pantry but she had a tin of coconut milk so she used that instead. You can’t believe how many compliments we got and so many people asked for the recipe! One little boy even told Ruth that she cooked better than his mom!! We gave him the recipe to take home with strict instructions to just tell her that he really liked it and definitely NOT that it was better than her cooking!
    Thanks so much for this real keeper!!

  5. Jim L. says:

    I buy a hunk of Hoop Cheese every time I see it too!
    I like it best at room temperature so the hunks by the cash register at the store is my favorite.

    My Mother would put a small chunk in her cup of coffee and fish the melted goo out with a spoon!

  6. Shirley Winters says:

    My grandfather had a little country store. There are three things that I remember him having in that store – hoop cheese, the candy counter where we could get a big bag of candy for 10 cents and a large bunch of bananas hanging from the ceiling. He would just pull off the number of bananas that the customer wanted. Such good memories.

  7. Betty Goodman says:

    Have never used Hoop Cheese for mac and cheese.

  8. Phyllis Ivey says:

    Hey Steve!

    Hoop cheese reminds me of my Daddy! He loved it! The recipe looks great.

  9. Cindy Chambers says:

    I remember hoop cheese. Haven’t had it since I was a child, many years ago.

  10. Bridget says:

    its a beautiful color and it s like a wheel of cheddar cheese, that’s what we called it cheddar chese with the red wax lol we used to put on bread and then broil it yummy !!

  11. Joanne says:

    I have had hoop cheese but it’s been many years ago when I was a child. Don’t even know where I could purchase it in my area now but I will be on the look out for it. I would really like to try your recipe and use the hoop cheese.

  12. Robin Rabie says:

    I have never heard of hoop cheese, but given that i never met a cheese i didn’t like, i am sure i would love it. I am going to make your recipe because we LOVE mac and cheese.

  13. Annie Oakley says:

    I tried it as a kid from the general store with my Grandpa, and now my grandson loves it too. There is a country store in Cana Virginia that still sells it the old way, and it’s great.

  14. Alicia Day says:

    We had a small country store when I was a kid, and we sold hoop cheese. It was just as you described it – a big round wheel of it and my parents would slice off how much the customer wanted. I ate it then and still love almost any kind of cheese.

  15. Dee says:

    Steve, we would also buy the single pieces wrapped in plastic and put on the dash of the car to let it melt just a tad. Then enjoyed with a cold Dr. Pepper! Hoop cheese is so much better than the already shredded process cheese.

  16. Teresa Rivers says:

    I’ve not had hoop cheese, but I do remember that government cheese.

  17. Sandra Lowry says:

    Best cheese ever! My Uncle Raymond would bring some when he “came home” to Brunswick County when I was a child. What a treat! As an adult, I have purchased some many times in my travels stopping at country stores. I have never cooked with it-just ate it with saltines-but this recipe sounds great. I have also never had macaroni and cheese with mayonnaise but this is worth a try. I’m a Hellman’s girl but I’m going to use Duke’s just for you Steve.
    Also, I picked up one of the wooden boxes this type of cheese comes in and I display it with all my collectibles from my childhood. Wonderful memories!
    Happy New Year!

  18. Clara Smith says:

    Hoop Cheese; Rat Cheese one in the same. I’ve tried it and I love it. My husband’s family holds a family reunion every August in the Valley of Virginia and it use to be in the 70s and 80s the Aunts or Uncles would come and bring a large slab of Hoop Cheese. We all looked forward to it. By the end of the day the cheese and what ever crackers that came with it were all gone. Now all the Aunts and Uncles have passed and all we have are good memories of them and the hoop cheese.

    • Dorothy Berry says:

      So now you revive the tradition in honour of them! They will be sitting in Heaven smiling in satisfaction.
      Love your alternate name – when I lived in Australia cheddar was commonly known as “mousetrap cheese”, don’t know if it still is.

  19. Priscilla Swayngim says:

    I buy the red rind hoop cheese all the time. It’s the only cheese my 15 year old granddaughter will eat. My daughter and I grate it to use in Mac and cheese. My father introduced me to hoop cheese when I was very young. We were poor but he would buy it as a treat. He always salted his. Am going to try your recipe for Sunday dinner. I grew up in Canton NC, so I am familiar with most of your recipes.

  20. Gina Price says:

    Hi Steve, I have seen hoop cheese many times, but don’t believe I’ve ever had it, unless as a sample sometime in the past..Have never cooked with it ! Thanks for the recipe! Be blessed !

  21. Danielle says:

    Yes! It is best baked inside of a biscuit. Yum. I sure miss North Carolina food. They still sold it at the country store in Stella before we moved to New Mexico.

  22. Teddi Hocker says:

    I am not familiar with hoop cheese but I do love cheese and macaroni and cheese is a holiday favorite!

  23. Angela James says:

    I’m a country gal but never ever have i ever had hoop cheese but am willing to try it… I will be ordering me some.

  24. Thelma Kay Cox says:

    I remember hoop cheese from the rural area country stores where I grew up. I have, since adulthood lived in the city of Wilmington NC and near Atlanta, GA. About 16 years ago, I moved to the real country on the line of Chatham and Randolph County, when my husband inherited land from his father. This allowed us to put down roots and build a house. In the small town of Bennett NC hoop Cheese is still sold. I even buy the wood hoop containers for crafts after the cheese is sold. I believe it is a genuine southern delicacy and it is wonderful. The Swiss May have great cheese with holes. We have hoop cheese with a great cover that preserves and keeps it fresh. For those who never had hoop cheese, visits Rouths Country Store in Bennett and have the clerk cut you a slab of cheese and buy a coke and crackers. That’s Southern!

  25. Gina Mullen says:

    I love hoop cheese and Duke’s mayo. I’m excited to try this mac and cheese recipe.

  26. Kathy Newman says:

    I do remember hoop cheese. One of The tasty foods you can hardly find anymore.

  27. Marilyn says:

    Yes, my daddy used to buy it at the country store just down the road from our house. It is delicious. And its better if you don’t put it in the refrigerator.

  28. Michelle says:

    I remember going to country stores as a kid to get hoop cheese & bologna. I haven’t had hoop cheese in years. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  29. Craig P says:

    I have never had hoop cheese but would love to try it.

  30. Laurell says:

    Happy Anniversary, Steve! Enjoy your recipes & newsletter every week. I can’t recall hoop cheese, grew up in Arkansas (still here). As a kid there was an old country store us kids would hang out at, especially when we had a little spending change. We would pick berries & help bale hay to make extra money. We were more interested in spending our money on nickel candy bars & dime soda pop, don’t think cheese was on our list of treats. I’m sure I would love it as I’m a big cheese lover! Prayers & smiles!

  31. Pam Gurganus says:

    I have tried hoop cheese and I love it! I have a dear friend that was born and raised in North Carolina. I was born and raised in Michigan. Anyway, I went to NC to visit my friend and we went over to her grandma’s house to visit and her grandma made us cheese biscuits! Her grandma makes biscuits and puts a cube of cut hoop cheese in the middle of them before baking. So yummy! They went on to eat the biscuits with peanut butter and grandma’s homemade sorghum molasses! Being a Northerner, I wasn’t that brave and ate them plain. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Mac and cheese is one of my favorite food groups (SMILE) and I look forward to trying this recipe since you provided information on how and where I can purchase hoop cheese! Have a blessed day, Steve!

  32. As usual this is a 5 star recipe !! Wonderful….never heard of hoop cheese so used cheddar as you suggested. As I said wonderful. I’m going to keep looking for hoop cheese, I know I’ll find it somewhere. Thanks Steve, God Bless you and yours always in my prayers.

  33. Sounds great, I love Mac and Cheese. I’ve heard of Hoop Cheese,
    but I thought it was like Cottage Cheese. I’m not sure why.
    I am really happy to be able to buy my Dukes Mayonnaise on Amazon. Lots of things we can’t get here in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, the fish and fishing is terrific here.

  34. Linda Ferguson says:

    I love your stories and recipes. I once shopped at a “country” store in North Alabama, near the Tennessee line. They had a pickle barrel, big rounds of hoop cheese, saltines in cellophane packets and such. There was also a rack of postcards. Some of them were 20 years old.
    I remember buying some postcards, cheese and crackers. Ate the cheese and crackers on my drive back to Huntsville, AL. This was before Marshall Space Flight Center; back in the ‘50s.

  35. Susan says:

    I have never heard of Hoop cheese, but it looks familiar. I will keep an eye out for it on our next trip south! The recipe sounds delicious, so I will definitely give it a try. My fella doesn’t care for mac n cheese, but I think it’s the roux he doesn’t like. He says it leaves a coating in his mouth. Since this doesn’t start with a roux I’m hoping this is one he will like! Thanks for the recipe!

  36. Dee says:

    It has been years since I had hoop cheese. I have had it but a long time ago! Thanks for reminding me of a good cheese to try again. I have not had it since I lived close to an Amish Cheese Factory, yes, that is what they called it. Sold great cheese too!

  37. Shirley Nemeth says:

    Even though i was born and raised in N. C., I don’t remember ever having Hoop Cheese. In fact, I don’t remember having cheese of any kind because we couldn’t afford to buy it. We never had pasta of any kind either. Only rice, grits, sweet potatoes, white potatoes and all kinds of vegetables which we grew – along with cantaloupes and watermelons. If we didn’t grow it, we didn’t eat it because we couldn’t afford to buy it. Thankfully, I can now afford to buy what I want. I’m going to look for Hoop Cheese but if I can’t find it, I plan to use your recipe and substitute cheddar cheese. I often used the box of Kraft Mac and cheese when my kids were growing up. They loved it. So did I.

  38. Jennifer Allen says:

    Hoop cheese – definitely! We always had it when I was little and probably wasn’t aware there was any other cheese until the middle of grade school when somehow American Cheese (is it really cheese) showed up lunch boxes. Funny. As always – thank you for sharing and making it a brighter day.

  39. Karen White says:

    My mother and I both love cheese. I remember eating hoop cheese with her when I was a kid.
    She never cooked with it. We just liked to eat it with crackers.

  40. cj thomas says:

    I still remember it, often up by a cash register that had actual keys on it and a drawer that flew open when you hit the right one. The cheese itself was usually a little cracked and had orange oily drops on the cut edge when the thermometer went above 80. A hunk of that and a Big Red soda was all my best friend and I needed for a fishing trip. Cat fish liked wads of that cheese too, but probably regretted it later when we hooked them.

  41. Linda Smith says:

    I have never tasted Hoop Cheese. I have heard of it but we never had it at home.

  42. Dorothy Berry says:

    I don’t remember the expression hoop cheese (which may be purely American) but I’m sure I had it; in England we called them cheese wheels as we do here in South Africa and I’m sure the grocer would have cut it fresh from the “wheel”, just as he did with the bacon – I remember that every grocer had a shiny “bacon slicer” firmly attached to his counter, which he could adjust the thickness on; he used to turn a handle which was attached to the razor-sharp wheel which then sliced the bacon. Who remembers those? I’m talking the 40s and 50s, and I imagine that or something similar would have been used for the cheese which certainly wouldn’t have been prepacked in blocks in the factory like they are nowadays. One of the supermarkets I use still has a section where they cut pieces off cheese wheels, various types of cheese. I believe the “wheels” are closer to the original cheeses and don’t have all the extras added such as salt and colourants. Mac and cheese is very popular here but is rather different as most people prefer to add bacon and/or tomato. My preferred recipe uses nutmeg and black pepper instead of paprika and sometimes I add chopped hard boiled eggs or fried mushrooms, but I’m looking forward to trying your recipe. Incidentally, I add stale breadcrumbs and a bit of (real) butter to the cheese for the topping, it makes a lovely crispy crust! Never tried mayo but I definitely will next time.

  43. Kim Sheve says:

    I’ve never tried Hoop Cheese. Now that I’ve read the recipe, I’m going to try it! Hubby loves mac n cheese; and he got me to start using Duke’s Mayo about 2 yrs ago, so he’ll be excited to see this dish at the table!

  44. Cheryl Ann says:

    I can honestly say that I have never heard of hoop cheese. My Grandmother never really made mac and cheese, but we had a neighbor who made a spectacular baked mac and cheese–every event picnics BBQ’s etc.. she was counted on to bring the mac and cheese–oh how I looked forward to that. Alas I never made it as a ‘grown up’ because none of my kids like cheese–sometimes I wonder just where they cam from?!! Since I now eat most of meals alone-I have experimented a little with foods I like but my last mac and cheese attempt turned out rather dry? I will definitely save and try yours–maybe the mayo is just the ticket!!

  45. David Williams says:

    I am sure I have eaten hoop cheese but I do not know if anyone referred to it as such. It is hard to find a woman who likes to cook now days so they take shortcuts such as buying shredded cheese in a package. I do make mac and cheese from scratch though using high fat butter, heavy whipping cream, and 2 kinds of cheese. I have gone to making it in an electric pressure cooker for consistency. I made some with salmon patties the other night. They were just as good reheated the next day. High in calories though, so I do not make it often.

  46. Mary says:

    Mama used to buy hoop cheese from our local hometown grocery store. I think the store still sells it. It’s been many years since I had any.

  47. Bonnie says:

    I haven’t thought about that red rind cheese in a long time. My grandmother bought it at “Piggy Wiggy” as I called it. In the summer when I was little we’d sit up late and watch Johnny Carson and have a late night snack with it. They really were the good ‘ol days.

  48. Dolores says:

    My dad use to buy hoop cheese at the Farm Bureau in Virginia where he lived. Cheese that can be purchased today just isn’t the same, something is definitely lacking in today’s products.

    I really enjoyed mac and cheese and cheese toast that my mom made using this type of cheese.

    When my daughter was stationed in Canada we would send her “care boxes” with items she liked and couldn’t find in Canada. One of her requested items was Kraft mac and cheese, in the box of course an Duke’s.

  49. Irma duncan says:

    My mom used to talk about hoop cheese when I was growing up she’s from Tennessee I tried it once and I love it it’s kind of sharp to me but she did tell me it mold quickly I believe but it is a good cheese

  50. Betty says:

    Sorry to say that I never liked Hoop Cheese. I tried it as a child and then again as an adult. Too rubbery for my taste. But your recipe looks delicious!

  51. libby rouse says:

    Oh yes, I surely have eaten hoop cheese, it is my favorite! It is so hard to find now,when I was growing up it was always at the stores. Now I’m hungry for cheese and crackers! Will be trying the recipe soon!

  52. carolyn godwin says:

    We grew up eating hoop cheese that daddy bought from Mr. Lester’s store we would make cheese toast or eat it with one of mama’s homemade biscuits they were the best those were the good old days

  53. martha mashburn says:

    I love hoop cheese and crackers. My grandmother made this recipe, but I can’t recall her using Mayonnaise. I will be trying this recipe.

  54. Kathie G says:

    I’ve never heard of Hoop cheese. My dad was born in Kentucky and we visited a lot when I was a kid to his sister who had a farm. We all ate wonderful southern food but never had Mac and cheese….only fried chicken which we all loved. Hopefully I’ll find it here on the East coast. Sounds awesome,

  55. GC Dunn says:

    I never thought I’d had hoop cheese until I saw the picture. We had an old Piggly Wiggly in my hometown growing up and they sold it by the register. My dad would eat a piece on top of a slice of hot apple pie.

  56. Beverly Jenkins says:

    I love the “Sharp” hoop cheese. We can find it locally at a store near my work right at the register when you check out. Sometimes I stop just to purchase the cheese. It makes a great snack. Happy Anniversity. I really enjoy your recipes as well as your newsletters. Keep them coming!

  57. Rich says:

    Sounds so good. I’m going to give this a try

  58. Terry says:

    We called it rat cheese….like baiting a spring loaded mouse trap. Used to pick it up with crackers and a Pepsi for lunch while working in the woods of Eastern NC. If hot, was always kind of rubbery but good.

  59. Sharon Ivie says:

    Yes, I’ve tried hoop cheese. Used to buy it from a Cheese Factory near Nashville, Tennessee many years ago.

  60. Stephen Greenfield says:

    I grew up in East Nashville, predominately a working-class and blue-collar neighborhood. There was a corner grocery store, Wey’s Grocery, that had a butcher. Many times I’d stop in after school or anytime during the summer for a couple slices of hoop cheese, bologna, and a pack of crackers. Add an RC Cola, and a little round packaged pecan pie, and for 40 cents or less I had a meal. Perfect for a fishing trip to Shelby Park or bike-riding to the nearby golf course to look for lost golf balls to sell.

    Thanks for reminding me of the simple pleasures that make life so grand.

  61. Susan Denehy says:

    Hi Steve, Mac and cheese brings back wonderful memories for me as well, my mom used the big block of Velvetta. Sadly there’s no Hoop Cheese to try in these parts so I’ll be making your recipe with a mild cheddar. I’m excited to make it your way as I’ve never heard of mayo used in the ingredients and it looks really tasty. We live on the coast of Massachusetts where the restaurants serve lobster mac ‘n cheese….I love both lobster and mac but “never (ever) the twain shall meet” in my humble opinion!
    Sending prayers.

  62. Kathy Wolfe says:

    Our country store always had a hoop or two to sell. I think the red rind was mild and the black rind was sharp. My mom would grate it to go on pineapple slices(or pears/peaches)with mayo and a cherry on top. The price is what keeps me from buying it now but after reading this I’ve got a hankering!

  63. MARTHA McCarthy says:

    I have never heard of Hoop cheese and believe me I am OLD!! I will try to find some
    and look forward to making this mac/cheese!! Sounds good!

  64. Cindy says:

    Happy New Year Steve. I went to a Country store in Tallahassee FL (2 hrs from my home) yesterday to buy some of their wonderful homemade sausage. There were little wrapped packs of cheese up on the glass case as you described. I didn’t ask what kind of cheese it was, but after reading today’s post, had to find out. Yup, they sell hoop cheese and will ship it. I can’t wait to try your Mac and hoop cheese recipe asap. Thanks for all you do!.

  65. Martha says:

    I have never tried hoop cheese – but will certainly look for it next time we travel south. The recipe looks yummy; I may have to give it a try isubstituting another cheese 🙂

  66. Ginny Schuster says:

    No, I’ve never heard of Hoop Cheese, but I love the looks of this recipe and am eager to make it. I think it may bring Kudos to me with the grandkids!! lol

  67. Tina says:

    I’ve never tried hoop cheese but it was always on the counter at a local pawn shop of all places! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  68. Lori Dom says:

    I’ve never heard of hoop cheese or using mayonnaise in baked mac and cheese. I’m going to get some cheddar cheese and try it. Looks delicious.

  69. Emily Hazelwood says:

    I cannot remember not having hoop cheese as a child. We would eat just cheese, cheese toast, but one of my favorites was a sandwich with bologna, pickles, mustard and mayo. I still purchase a slice when I find it at a store. Happy Anniversary!

  70. Joyce says:

    I’ve never heard of Hoop Cheese until now and was wondering if there’s another name for it.

  71. Karen Miller says:

    I love hoop cheese. Although its hard to find now, I do have a couple places to get it. My favorite place is a store about 30 miles from here. They sell feed, seed, homemade candies, a bunch of other stuff, and quilt fabric and patterns. They figure up your bill on the back of the brown paper bag your items will be placed in. No calculator, adding machine, or cash register. Love it!

  72. Elaine Beyer says:

    No, I have never heard of hoop cheese. In the great Pacific Northwest we don’t always have the same products that the east coast has. I grew up in Tillamook, Oregon called the land of trees, cheese and ocean breeze on the north Oregon coast. There were many many Swiss immigrants, that started raising dairy cows that fed and still feed to this day on lush green meadows and fields to produce the world famous Tillamook Cheese. Many of the dairies now are run by decendants of these immigrants raising holstein, gursey, guernsey and dutch belt herds to produce the mass production of milk to produce cheeses of many different flavors, ice cream, milk, sour cream and cottage cheese and the most wonderful of all….curds, my favorite! I hope to make your wonderful macaroni and cheese recipe it looks yummy!

  73. Robbin Kinzer says:

    Steve, I don’t believe I have ever had hoop cheese. My grandmother used to have a cheese that she had to slice if you wanted a piece and she used that for sandwiches or Mac and cheese. That was a long time ago. . I still miss her.

  74. I grew up within walking distance of two small country stores in Pisgah Forest NC. My favorite thing to eat, to this day, is a chunk of hoop cheese and a loaf of fresh white bread. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  75. Beth says:

    That recipe looks delicious! I don’t remember ever trying hoop cheese but will be looking out for it from now on!

  76. Good Morning,

    I have not had hoop cheese since I was a child, long, long ago.
    I remember it was very sharp. Your recipe looks great. I see that you don’t need flour. Makes it look so much quicker to make, I must try this for my family!

  77. CYNTHIA SMITH says:

    Hi Steve,
    I live in central South Carolina and we always got a taste of Hoop cheese in the meat market! The butcher would cut us all a thin slice – even mom and it was always soo good. And we have some of these big food stores like Lowes food and Publix Greenwise here and we can get it there now. It is still good but it seemed to be better when we were kids. Cindi S

  78. Debbi Menzie says:

    I have never had hoop cheese, (being a northerner transplant to NC ) but I have seen it ! Now that I know a little more about it I think the next time I run across it again I will definitely try it! Once again thanks for the wonderful stories behind these recipes, brings back many memories of cooking with my mom and both grandmas ( I too am very blessed! )

  79. Steve Bailey says:

    I grew up in Rockingham county. When we were not “putting” in tobacco I would hire out to help other farmers.
    At noon we would be carried to a country store for lunch.Meals of pork an beans, sardines,cold coke were standard. But if I had some extra money I would buy some hop cheese with a pack of crackers. Remember, coke’s were a nickel!
    Dessert was a raisin or oatmeal pie. 25 cents an hour was allot of money back then.
    Yes, those were the good old days.

  80. Christy Rafferty says:

    I have had Hoop cheese but never knew the name of it until I saw the picture. I sure do LOVE cheese!!! Thanks for the memories.

  81. Elsa Nystrom says:

    Didn’t try the recipe as I eat low carb, sigh. I remember seeing the cheese when we moved down here in the 80’s, not something that was sold in Chicago where I grew up.

  82. Sheryl C Mackey says:

    My daddy hunted hoop cheese like other folks hunt bbq. We always had some in the refrigerator. Excellent to use in a mouse trap.

  83. Dora says:

    I have never tried hoop cheese but have seen it carried locally. I will try it next time I buy the German bologna they carry.

  84. Fawn Bowden says:

    Nope, never tried it, I grew up in MN and WI, but it looks good!

  85. Kathryn Ransom-Williams says:

    Comfort food at its best !!

  86. Debbie B says:

    Good morning Steve and Happy New Year, l have had hoop cheese, love it. My dad always bought one for mom to use, she made the best mac and cheese with it. She also used it to make homemade cheese biscuits for breakfast, so good. Have a very blessed 2020!

    • Vivian Reeser says:

      I lived (in the country) near Auburn, KY as a young girl. Among many exciting things I got to do was ride into town in horses-drawn wagon with my grandparents to do their shopping. When they were finished shopping, we ended up at a HUGE wooden block in the store, on top of which was an enormous (to me) round of HOOP cheese. My “Mama” would order a BIG chunk, and on our 5-mile ride back home, she would use a pocket knife to cut bites of cheese which we ate with saltine crackers. At 87 years old, I can still taste the deliciousness!

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