Dolly Parton Swears By Eating Fried Apples With Her Mac And Cheese

Taylor Sakellis
Dolly Parton smiles at camera during 9-to-5 Broadway premiere.
Getty Images | Dave J Hogan

Dolly Parton was finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and who would have thought it would take so long?

Dolly is a master of many crafts. She can sing. She can act. She can dance, I think? What we do know is that Dolly knows exactly how to wow her fans. From her songwriting to donating to help fund the Moderna vaccine to her Hallmark movie specials, Ms. Parton is always cooking up something great for fans.

Speaking of cooking, Dolly is here with a hot tip about mac and cheese that is sure to make some heads turn.

I love weird food combinations — they're what makes the world turn 'round!

Giphy | Living Single

From chocolate-covered pickles to tuna fish and fruit punch, there is no limit to the whacky pair-ups that might not make a lot of sense to some but really mean a lot to others.

Now let's be clear, just because I support them does not mean I want to try them, lol.

But what pairing could Dolly Parton enjoy that could possibly make waves?

She's out there insisting we should all try apples with our macaroni and cheese.

Look, if that's the secret to her rockin' bod and ageless face, sign me right up!

How old is Dolly Parton?

Could this combo come from the generation she grew up in?

Dolly was born in 1946, making her 76 at the time of this writing. We can only hope to look so good when we reach that age.

This makes her an original Baby Boomer. Props to her for breaking all the negative stereotypes of that generation. There isn't anything specific to that generation about enjoying apple mac and cheese.

Where Dolly Parton was born and raised.

Dolly has always been proud of her humble beginnings. She was born in Pittman Center, Tennessee, in a single-room cabin nestled beside the Little Pigeon River.

She's always made a point of using her success to help those in her home state, opening Dollywood in 1986, followed with the launching of the Dollywood Foundation in 1988.

However, there's not a lot of evidence that southern states enjoy pairing apples and cheese.

Combining cheese and apples is more of a New England and Midwestern thing.

A slice of apple pie with four slices of bright orange cheddar cheese.
Flickr | jeffreyw

Not with mac and cheese, though. They're all about cheddar cheese and apple pie.

Usually, the slice of cheese is served atop the pie in a practice that goes back to at least the 1850s, but I'm partial to baking it right into the crust. That savory cheese pairs wonderfully with the crisp sweetness of the apple filling.

Which is probably the same reason Dolly Parton likes her apples and mac and cheese.

The pairing is just flipped. Instead of a bit of savory cheese in addition to sweet apples, it's a bit of sweet apples to complement savory cheese. Both even have a delicious, carb-filled element. Though flakey crust trumps macaroni noodles.

Speaking with Insider, the songstress revealed how she came to discover her favorite unlikely combo.

drew barrymore
Giphy | The Drew Barrymore Show

"One time I didn't have a whole lot of stuff in my refrigerator and I was hungry," Dolly recalled in the interview. "I don't even know if it was some macaroni I'd made before or store-bought, but I just remember having some fried apples that had come out of another order of food from somewhere."

"I thought, 'Well there's some apples,' and I just remember putting that on the same plate."

"I thought, this is an absolutely great combination! And ever since then, that was years ago now, when I'm going to do mac and cheese, I always do fried apples."

"They're just so good together," she added. "You'll like it!" 

dolly parton
Giphy | CMA Awards

When you think about it, apples and cheese are a great combo. Plus, adding pasta to anything makes it better so maybe this isn't as weird as we might think!

h/t: Insider