An Ode to Mac & Cheese

Yesterday I told the world just how bad Grape Nuts really are. The response on my Facebook wall was lively, to say the least. It seemed like every Grape Nut aficionado in a thousand mile radius somehow sensed someone had thrown down the gauntlet, exposing to the world just how awful Grape Nuts really are. Unbeknownst to me, there must be some sort of Grape Nut pact people sign when they decide they like the taste of kitty litter for breakfast.

“These are my Grape Nuts. I must defend them.”

Not many people came by to say they didn’t like Grape Nuts either. (Can you blame them? They would have been trampled by the mob of Grape Nutters.) But today, I thought I’d perform an experiment. Yesterday I focused on a disgusting food I didn’t like, and it brought out all the people who like it. I wondered what would happen if I focused on a food I love, which many find disgusting. Will it bring out all the people who will tell me just how disgusting it really is, and how I’m wrong? Or will it attract all the people who also love it? My guess is that it will bring out the people who disagree with me, but there’s only one way to find out!

I’m speaking, of course, of macaroni and cheese. Not the homemade stuff. No, I’m focused right on the boxed variety. And not even the high end boxed mac & cheese. Kraft is way too high brow for me. My sophomore year of college, I pretty much lived on one meal. I would take brand X mac & cheese and make it, leaving out the butter (because who has time for butter), but putting in a can of tuna fish instead.

Denisa called it the Yellow Death. To me, it was (and is) pretty much the perfect food. Allow me to elucidate.

First, it’s dead simple to make. If you can boil water and operate a can opener, you’re good to go. Within ten minutes, you can have a warm meal. Better yet, it’s an easy cleanup as well. You make the dish and eat it out of the pot you boiled the pasta in. One bowl to clean up, and that’s it.

You’ve got your basic food groups covered. Carbohydrates? Check. Dairy? That’s what the cheese and milk are for. Fruit and vegetables? Overrated. Meat? Fish! The healthy meat! As an added bonus, it comes with built-in portion control. Once you’ve made up a single box, you’ll be way too lazy to want to make another. And the food is delicious enough that there are hardly ever leftovers.

But that brings me to an added bonus. If you thought warm mac & cheese with tuna fish was delicious, just wait until you’ve tried it cold. It’s like a whole new dish! Kind of like pizza that way. There were plenty of times that I would just stick the leftovers in the fridge (in the same pot still) and pull them out the next day for lunch. No need to microwave it or anything! (You don’t want to wait too long to eat them, though. After a day, the mac & cheese gets a bit . . . grody.)

Finally, there are enough preservatives in there that you could buy in bulk and be good for at least a decade or so, I’d guess. Smart shoppers could wait until tuna and the boxed mac & cheese were on sale. Talk about winning!

I know there have been other innovations in mac & cheese cuisine over the years. Hot dogs or chili were often cited as superior, but to me, tuna fish will always reign supreme.

Now if I could just convinced Denisa that it’s vegan . . .


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