Velveeta Shells and Cheese and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. They are the two main Macaroni and cheese dinners on the market. Not many people know, or realize, that both are made by Kraft. Unlike most other products, with comparable substitutes, no matter which macaroni and cheese you buy, Kraft wins. Business and politics aside, let’s get down to the meat and potatoes of the macaroni and cheese face off.
I will start with the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner. It is the original, it is the classic, it is the cheesiest (according to their ad slogan). It even says that right on the front of the box; “The Cheesiest”. Is it really the cheesiest? What criteria does Kraft use to determine which macaroni and cheese dinner is actually the cheesiest? I’m guessing that it is up to the individual to make up their own minds. Cheesiest or not, it is delicious. There is no denying that.
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner comes in a 7.25 ounce box that is still shaped the same today as it was when I remember it as a kid; all those years ago. The main colors are the same and the taste is unaltered. Why mess with a classic? Why fix it when it isn’t broken? Sure, there are some changes. You can buy different flavors, different sizes, and there is, currently, a stupid looking mouse on the front of the box, but the essentials of what I think of when I think of macaroni and cheese are still there; there is macaroni and cheese. Plus, at only about $1, it is very affordable.
As for preparation, most college students that I know (myself included) subscribe to the adage of ‘not making food that takes longer to prepare than to eat’. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese takes only about 5 minutes to make and it usually takes me about 15 minutes to eat a box of it. Yes, I eat the whole box in one sitting, I am a real man. Just boil some water, add the macaroni and cheese, wait until tender, drain, add some butter or milk (as desired), add the orange cheese powder, stir, eat. That’s it and that’s all. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, I give Kraft Macaroni and Cheese a score of 4.
Now let’s take a look at the competition. As noted, it is also made by Kraft, but it doesn’t use the company name in the ads as much as the other does. Maybe this is because some people boycott certain companies, like Kraft, for their involvement in the tobacco industry. When choosing a macaroni and cheese, these people would be much more likely to boycott KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese than they would to boycott Velveeta Shells and Cheese.
As for the Velveeta Shells and Cheese themselves, they are completely different than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. First, and most obvious, they are shells. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is more of a noodle, a small cylindrical or tubular vein-like noodle if you will, but a noodle none-the-less. Velveeta Shells and Cheese are…drum roll please, shells. The other major difference, and this is the major difference, is in the sauce. While Kraft Macaroni and Cheese uses an orange death powder, Velveeta Shells and Cheese uses a creamy, orange cheese sauce that is 100 times more addictive than nicotine. (Seriously, sometimes I have eaten just the sauce out of the small tinfoil pouch without adding it to the shells.) It is this sauce that made me a believer.
I grew up on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner. As a kid who loved macaroni and cheese, whenever my mom made it, it was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner that she prepared. I loved it, my brother loved it, we always ate it. It wasn’t until I got older and went to college, thus living on my own, that I really discovered Velveeta Shells and Cheese. Let me tell you, once I first tried it, I was hooked. I didn’t care that it cost roughly $2 a box (twice the cost of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese), I didn’t care that by eating an entire box, in one sitting, I was ingesting 36 grams of saturated fat (or nearly double the daily allowance), I didn’t care about any of this. The pure and simple fact is that it is delicious. It gets a 5 out of 5.
The Barenaked Ladies have a popular song called “If I Had A Million Dollars”. In it they sing that if they had a million dollars they wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese…but they still would”. I wonder if they have ever tried Velveeta Shells and Cheese. Robin Leach and Frasier Crane can have their caviar (disgusting), and The Barenaked Ladies can have their Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (very good), I’ll take the Velveeta Shells and Cheese. Try it once and you will be hooked, too.