Epic roundup of store-bought mac 'n' cheese

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/01/epic-roundup-of-store-bought-m.html

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How about no. Just make it from scratch.


It’s just not the same. Shitty mac & cheese from a box is something distinct and wonderful, with its own texture and flavors.


I can’t read it due to paywall, but in other tests like this, Amy’s mac & cheese always comes out poorly and Kraft gets high marks for nostalgia, though not necessarily authenticity.

Your best bet (outside of grating cheese): skip the macaroni and get Amy’s White Cheddar Shells.


Thanks, paywall.

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The Takeout did a (much smaller) version of this a couple weeks back, but they also had a nine-year old doing the tasting - which is just good mac’n’cheese science. Kraft won, BTW.


I hear your words…


That’s weird. I can see it in Mexico.


Trader Joe’s scored the worst on their boxed (something I concur with) and Whole Foods’ store brand scored the best (something I also concur with). Frozen Trader Joe’s scored the highest in that category.

There, saved you a click.


The fatal flaw in any judgement of macaroni and cheese is the assumption that it must be made with cheddar.

This is why I even like Kraft boxed mac and cheese fake flavor more than many mixes. At least my mom’s (considered the best among local cooks) tempered her homemade version with other cheeses.


I mix real cheese, butter, and milk in with my crappy Kraft mac n chee’. I’m sure other brands might be better but for me the taste of Kraft is a real comfort.


Yes, it’s my go-to, since my mom never wrote down a recipe for her version of mac n cheese.

Kraft is the first and the best. these stories come up periodically and try to unseat it, but Kraft remains the standard. i love the stuff – i hope it never changes. it’s not like homemade, of course, but it isn’t supposed to be.


Technically, Velveeta is also Kraft, so they’ve incredibly managed to be the worst and the best in the same category.


Kraft Velveeta usually wins, because science.

It’s already creamy and super cheesey, a little butter and milk and you have a solid mac. I’m a big fan of the Cracker Barrel mac, which is very similar to the now discontinued Kraft version. It has that sour tang, buttermilk or extra sharp cheese, perhaps a dash of mustard… much more adult that straight Velveeta.

I will say the also discontinued Kraft extreme mac was much better than the regular version. Perhaps the best of any powder mac on the market, which can still be had in the to go cups.

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What is this mac ‘n’ cheese people talk about? It is macaroni cheese, made up of macaroni (large spaghetti with holes) and cheese.

A macaroni noodle made out of cheese, now you are on to something! :slight_smile:


I will concur if I have to have boxed M&C…Kraft fits the bill best.

As opposed to this guy
Image result for macaroni jesus

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I can vouch for Annie’s four-cheese with penne (boxed) and Devour’s buffalo chicken mac (or some pasta I’m misremembering) and cheese (frozen), but these weren’t under consideration.

I’ve got a recipe that gets better each time I try and make it, but only one of my kids will eat it. I can do the whole thing in under an hour. This is from memory so I hope I didn’t omit anything:

Boil 7 oz. macaroni and heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a casserole. Shred an 8 oz. block of sharp cheddar. Chop a white onion (works better than red).

Melt 6.5 Tbsp. butter (80g IIRC) in a pot (recipe says low heat; I went between med. and low) and cook the chopped onion until soft. (Optional: add some chopped garlic, creole seasoning etc.) Add 3 Tbsp. flour and cook until it gets foamy. Remove from heat, gradually stir in 2 c. milk, then return to heat and cook until it thickens. Lower heat and simmer 5 min. Stir in 2 tsp. whole-grain mustard (someone here told me that’s the kind where you can see seeds in it) and 3/4 of the shredded cheese. Stir in the macaroni. Season to taste (if you didn’t already add garlic, creole seasoning, etc.)

Pour the whole thing into the greased casserole, put the rest of the cheese on top along with some breadcrumbs (can’t remember the amount – I toasted the ends from a loaf of bread and crumbled them up). Bake for 15 minutes until bubbling.