MAC AND CHEESE. I’ve been obsessed my whole life. This is literally a family joke that I just can’t shake… all I know how to make is Kraft dinner. It’s not true anymore, but the joke won’t die! Yes, I ate a LOT of Kraft dinner growing up. Didn’t we all? It was cheap and easy and kept in the boxes for a lifetime so you always had some at the ready. My organs may or may not be permanently tinged a neon orange.
Going vegan has wrenched this love affair right up. I haven’t bought Kraft brand mac and cheese for years and years, but had still been munching the occasional box of Amy’s (THEY ARE SHAPED LIKE BUNNIES HOW COULD I NOT). I’d like to quit this not-really-good-for-your-innards snack, but it’s difficult. Have you all seen this recent study confirming that cheese is highly addictive? I’m struggling with that right now. Cheese sweats, I swear I have them.
So vegan mac and cheese… sorry guys I have nothing good to say about this. I’ve tried 4 different vegan mac and cheese options; the veggie based nacho cheese I tested out a while ago (see it here) which was a big no, a brand from Whole Foods that will remain nameless because it was the most disgusting thing I had eaten in a very long time, and more recently Daiya and Earth Balance brand mac and cheese. I’m going to focus on the last two for this post.
I love Earth Balance. I only use EB buttery spread and their vegan shortening is great for baking. The brand is great and I love everything about the mac and cheese box and all its positive plant-based goodness. The noodles are good, the colour and texture of the product is great, and the cheese powder smelled alright when I opened the little bag. Once I mixed it in, though, things went south. How do I describe the smell? It’s not cheesy, it’s more… sweet chemicals? The Daiya is very similar, if I’m going to be totally honest, and it’s not appetizing. The taste was ok on first bite but it then gets gross. I don’t know how to describe it; too salty? Sour? Plastic? It’s just offensive when you are expecting a true mac and cheese flavour. SORRY EVERYONE I hated it and won’t be eating it again. :(((
Daiya, I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you either. The gluten free noodles were a great size and texture, and I loved that the cheese mix was a gooey liquid and not a powder, for once. It made it a LOT easier to mix together and there weren’t any dry clumps of cheese powder stuck in there anywhere. The colour was good and it appeared to be really creamy and delicious-looking in the bowl. In my mouth, however, delicious it was not. I just can’t with this fake mac and cheese! I want to like it so much but… just no. Sorry to break your hearts like this, but there is no winner here. I wouldn’t eat either of these again. Boooooo