Monday, July 26, 2010
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Homestyle Deluxe: 4 cheese
Yes, yes, I know -- once again, it seems that Gigi is hitting the kiddie food. Well, hold on just a second! Yes, this is Mac & Cheese, but this version seems to be aimed more at adults. Its (rather annoying) ad campaign even features a cheesed off (Get it? Cheesed Off? Oh, I am so witty today!) Thomas Jefferson showing up at random peoples' homes and getting upset that Mom is taking credit for his recipe...rather than, say, over hyper kids cooing over the cartoon character du jour.
The prep steps are almost completely identical to "normal" mac and cheese: boil and drain the mac, add milk, butter, the mysterious contents of the included foil packets, stir. And in fact you can eat it at that point if you like. But this one also offers an additional option: once you have the mac & cheese made as per above, you can then add the also-included magic bread crumb topping packet (and some grated cheese, not included) and bake the cheesy crust onto the mac.
So how does it taste? Well, it tastes like normal Kraft mac & cheese, with a blandly crunchy topping. It's not bad, but honestly I can take a box of the of the Classic (or the Deluxe, if I am feeling bougie) and make a tastier topping with things already in my kitchen. Heck, if you've got cheese and panko on hand -- and I usually do -- there's really no reason to buy this stuff instead of the regular Kraft mac.
The mac & cheese is as cheesy and Middle American yummy as you could expect a Kraft Mac to be. And that, believe me, is a good thing.
As for the topping...well, it's just meh. It's not bad, but it's bland. The fact that it's crunchy is about the only thing I can really say in its favor. I love the texture that baked mac & cheese acquires -- slightly crunchy but still moist -- but I really think they could have done a much, much better job with this. In the end, the topping not only adds nothing noteworthy to the mac & cheese, but its very blandness ends up detracting from it. And that is not a good thing.
Yes, I know they're trying to keep it "safe" and "familiar." In this case they have erred on the side of caution.
280 calories per 3 ounce serving.
Contains wheat and milk.