The Wide World of Mac n’ Cheese

A few of The Captain’s Log staff members share their favorite mac n’ cheese

~Diane Frola, Anna Dorl, Ashley McMillan, and Travis Rocha~

Diane’s Great Mac and Cheese Opinion:

Macaroni and cheese is hands down the best food to ever be invented, or at least in my opinion it is. Now I get that many people will disagree with me, especially as mac and cheese is viewed as a “child’s food.” But for me, it has always been my favorite food as it has a very comforting aspect that makes it so good. One of the most controversial but superior brands of mac and cheese is Velveeta. This is a brand that people either love or vehemently hate, but to me, it’s the best brand of box mac and cheese. Yes, it may taste artificial but that’s kinda the point with box mac and cheese. If you really want your food to taste complex and real, mac and cheese isn’t the food you should be going for anyways. Artificialiality is sort of the taste of childhood and Velveeta hits that nostalgia factor perfectly. It also requires no additional ingredients to make and for someone that can barely make toast without burning down the kitchen, that’s a very great factor. So yes, Velveeta is a very hated brand by many and I definitely got a few ews when I said it was my favorite, but honestly, the hate just adds an extra spice that makes it even better. 

Anna’s Mac and Cheese Opinion:

It’s no secret that mac and cheese slaps. I’ve been a big fan of it since I was young, like most kids. During my very granola childhood, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Annie’s products. My parents are super crunchy and very into healthy foods, and Annie’s is a great organic brand that makes a lot more products than mac and cheese. I grew up eating their crackers, graham cookies, and most importantly, Annie’s Peace Pasta with Parmesan. The tangy and savory flavor combined with the fun peace sign-shaped pasta always made for a groovy meal. As I got older, I tried a lot of the different flavors they have to offer. So here it is: my official verdict on what I believe to be the best mac and cheese ever is Annie’s White Cheddar. It comes in both shell shapes and typical macaroni shapes, but I don’t discriminate. The creamy and perfectly salted flavor of white cheddar is still the same, and it’s a familiar taste that reminds me of being eight years old again. It even comes in a fun purple box, which was my favorite color as a kid – not to mention the cute bunnies on the box who serve as the mascots for the Annie’s brand. I’ve tried many mac and cheese flavors in my day, but I’m an adult now and I know the truth: Annie’s White Cheddar is a tried and true classic.

Ashley’s Mac n’ Cheese Opinion:

Let’s be honest, all I ever eat is pasta and cheese. If I had to choose, the most elite brand of mac n’ cheese is Annie’s Organic’s Shells & White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. No, I’m not picking this mac because it’s organic— I honestly had no clue that pasta could even be organic. Then again, there’s a lot wrong with our education system, so. It also only had 10 grams of protein per serving, which is not too shabby. This mac is light yet creamy, something Kraft has never been able to do. I used to be a big Kraft fan, though, ever since I found a group of like-minded cheese connoisseurs on campus, I have slowly but surely been branching out to new mac n’ cheeses. But to add: you’ll never see me eating Velveeta. Disgusting. Any who—  whenever I eat this mac I add some parmesan cheese on top, and sometimes, basil (just to feel fancy). If you want it plain, it’s not awful to make in the kitchen. I’ve honestly made this mac at all times of the day, whether it’s 3 AM or 9 AM. As a college student, I don’t have a set timeline on when I eat meals considering it’s a party of one typically in this apartment. Regardless, if you want something cheap, easy, and beautiful, pick Annie’s Organic’s Shells & White Cheddar Mac and Cheese.

Travis’ Mac n’ Cheese Opinion: 

Picking a favorite mac n’ cheese is a difficult task, especially considering my personal top two are the aforementioned Annie’s and Velveeta brands. So at the risk of being redundant, I suppose I’ll think out of the box for my personal favorite… which is to say I’ll choose something from a restaurant rather than the box mac n’ cheese found in the store. I’ve had plenty of great macaroni in my life, but when I’m craving those particular noodles and I don’t have the ingredients on hand I know where I’m going—to Panera Bread. Their white cheddar mac n’ cheese is an American classic at this point; it’s the item on the menu everyone can always rely on. You can splurge for their bread bowl which is a dollar or so extra and enjoy that all-American creamy cheese flavor as it seeps through the roll. (Does that sound gross? That might sound gross.) In all honesty, I’ve been burned by the bread bowl in the past as one has to spend more money for less macaroni, but I suppose the allure of a savory, warm bread roll from which Panera Bread receives its namesake can outweigh an extra few spoonfuls of mac for some people. But personally, I’m always going to vie for the most macaroni available.

The truth is, when it comes to macaroni, you can’t go wrong. Have you ever really had a mac n’ cheese you didn’t like? Barring a few homemade macaroni recipes gone horribly awry in my dingy apartment’s kitchen, I can’t say that I have. Mac n’ cheese is truly something everyone can enjoy. And before the vegans think I’ve forgotten all about them, there are, of course, plenty of delicious vegan macaroni options you can find in restaurants and on the shelves at your local grocery store! I know you’re hungry from reading this so there’s no sense in waiting around! Whip up something from the box or head to the UberEats app on your phone to place an order and enjoy some macaroni!

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