Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kraft Extreme Cheese Explosion Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

I was vacationing in Hilton Head, South Carolina for my spring break when I saw the most exciting thing a supermarket mac and cheese aficionado can see: a type of Kraft I had never seen before. This is a rare sight, since Kraft generally sticks to the tried-and-true favorite with a few different varieties for when its regular customers are craving a change. Apparently this "Extreme Cheese Explosion" and its counterpart, the "Cheddar Explosion" (which I will be trying soon) are relatively new, and Kraft is running a promotion to coincide with the explosion of the old Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The preparation for this one is essentially identical to the preparation for typical Kraft. This recipe, however, calls for more milk and less butter. I should note that when my boyfriend prepares Kraft mac and cheese, he uses no milk and only butter. It's generally delicious, but I felt that I should stick to by-the-box preparation when trying something new.

My camera is unfortunately out of commission at the moment, so I was forced to rely on my trusty cell phone for the following images.

I was so excited to see this box in a South Carolina Kroger's supermarket.

Stirring in the butter.

Close-up of the mac and cheese on the plate. Note the cool shape of the pasta. Looks delicious!


Flavor: 3/5. The cheese sauce didn't taste bad, but there was a strange aftertaste that definitely reminded me of something I've had before, though I can't recall what it was. The original Kraft cheese definitely has a much better flavor.

Consistency: 4/5. You can generally count on Kraft to provide a generous amount of cheese, and this one certainly lived up to the "Cheese Explosion" name. You're never going to get a super-creamy texture with cheese that comes from a powder, but this one was like a thicker version of standard Kraft.

Pasta Shape: 5/5. This was a shape I'd never really seen before; a sort of thick twist. It definitely worked perfectly with the cheese sauce and looked good too.

Overall: 4/5. Though the sauce was not my favorite, it still had a solid, cheesy taste. The pasta shapes were perfect, and I would love to see Kraft use this shape with other varieties of mac and cheese as well. I don't think I would replace classic Kraft with this kind, but it's definitely worth a try, and I'm sure many people will enjoy this variety.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size 3 oz (about ½ box), prepared. 360 Calories, 70 Calories from Fat; 4.5g Fat, 2.5g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat; 15mg Cholesterol; 1000mg Sodium; 57g Carbohydrate; 1g Fiber; 10g Sugars; 11g Protein.

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