TASTE
09/10/2013 08:55 am ET | Updated Sep 10, 2013

Kraft Macaroni And Cheese: We're Not Ashamed To Love The Boxed Stuff

Facebook: Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

Once again, we'd like to circle up the food shame wagons and have ourselves a quick fireside. A few weeks ago, we touched on the pancake shortcut we indulge in when times get tough. Today, we're going to talk to you about Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

Let's get the compulsory stuff out of the way, right? It's artificial, processed, loaded with sodium, preservatives, dyes and who knows what else. It is, if we're being totally honest, not really even that much of a shortcut. It takes nearly as long to make as the real thing. It is definitely not mac and cheese. I know -- that was hard to hear, so I'll repeat it: it is not really even mac and cheese.

Think about what mac and cheese is, in its purest form: it's macaroni, a curved, elbow-shaped noodle, and cheese, a creamy dairy product. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is a tubular pasta, without a lick of integrity or curvature, and reconstituted ersatz cheese powder, of a hue not found in nature. It isn't really mac and cheese, but you know what it is? Freaking delicious.

Sometimes, when we set out to make our own version of a processed food product, what we're shooting for is an imitation that is a little better for us. We love to replicate Big Macs, Chick-fil-A sandwiches, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with our own ingredients. We can eat these impostors guilt-free, knowing they don't contain any ingredients we can't pronounce. When we make mac and cheese, we're shooting for homestyle, creamy, cheese-stringy, crispy-on-top macaroni and cheese. There is no point in trying to replicate Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Eating it doesn't satisfy a mac and cheese craving, but it is the only satisfaction for a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese craving.

Do you see what I'm getting at here? We can't recommend that you only eat the orange stuff from the blue box, we can't even recommend that you consider it macaroni or cheese. But, since a lot of us grew up eating it, we know that it occupies a salty, easy, make-it-yourself-while-you're-home-alone nostalgic nook in a lot of our brains. Not sure you agree with me? Take a look at this.

Quick! While the Europeans are asleep, post gifs of mac and cheese!

If that didn't activate your salivary glands, I am not even sure that you aren't a robot. Sometimes we toss in a handful of frozen peas. Sometimes, if we want to really fancy things up, we'll blanch some broccoli. Is the orange "cheese" not enough for you? Grating a little Parmesan in never hurt anyone.

Go ahead, you guys. Every once in a great while, get the stuff in the box. Ain't no shame in that game.

*This post was neither sponsored nor influenced by the brand mentioned. No sponsorship could incite love this nerdy.

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