Dairy Pyrotechnics

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Cheddar Explosion

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Cheddar Explosion

I Paid: $1.39 for a 5.5-ounce box (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

It’s not clear what kind of message Kraft is trying to send by packaging its new Macaroni & Cheese Cheddar Explosion in a box featuring a cheese-colored dinosaur that’s being dramatically splashed by a liquid wave of cheese. But whatever message it is, it’s an intriguing one, particularly when coupled with the knowledge that an entire stadium in Texas was demolished as a promotional stunt for this product.

As it turns out, of course, Cheddar Explosion is just regular old Kraft Macaroni & Cheese—but with curly noodles—that calls for more milk (and less butter) in the directions. The result is something closer to a cheese soup, with a tender, uniform texture that makes for great forkability. In the “we blew up a stadium” press release, the product modestly bills itself as having “bigger shapes” and “more cheese sauce, as prepared,” and on those two counts, check … and check. For not in any way diminishing the quality or overall experience of one of its most simple and beloved products, Kraft deserves some kudos. Whether it deserves additional kudos for slightly tweaking the product in a more pleasurable direction is going to have to be a personal call. And personally, I’m all for bigger shapes and more sauce.

What? Get your mind out of the gutter. Good Lord.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow Chowhound on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.

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