For those of you new to my blog, I’ve started a series on Fridays where I compare American food brands to their international counterparts. I’m intrigued that so many ingredients are changed based on the food rules of each country. I’m here to find out which product tastes better and deliver the knowledge to you in a humorous way. I don’t really care about which product is healthier, I am an avid Twinkie and Spam eater. I do list the ingredients of each product at the end, just in case you care to use a biomedical engineering degree to figure out why items I can’t pronounce are added to some country’s food and not others. Good luck with that, you overachiever.
Today is the day I’ve been training for my entire life. The day I taste test macaroni and cheese. Specifically, Kraft macaroni and cheese UK vs. Kraft macaroni and cheese US. My taste buds were bred for this and I fasted after 7pm last night just so I could go into this with a fresh tongue. I also avoided pizza for a week to avoid accidentally burning my mouth on hot cheese.
Brits on the left, Americans on the right
Let’s start off with the similarities. They contain the same amount of pasta in them. The directions specify to use the same amount of butter and milk to make the sauce.
And that’s where the similarities end.
Redcoats on the left, Colonials on the right
The pasta is completely different! The US version is brown and when boiling in the water, the pasta turns translucent. The UK pasta is the same color as typical store spaghetti and stays the same color during cooking.
Now that it’s been pointed out that not all Kraft pasta turns clear while cooking, I’m a little freaked out America! What is wrong with our Kraft?!? Name one other real pasta that turns clear while cooking and then solid again once you drain the water.
You can’t, can you?
The American pasta take 7-8 minutes to cook, while the UK version takes only 4-6 minutes. I am really liking the idea of getting my delicious food just a little bit quicker. It will save lives when I go on a rampage.
And then there is the cheese sauce…
And I think I found all those ingredients that the Brits leave out and the Americans add in. Look at the nuclear orange color of the US cheese!! Someone, somewhere, is making this powder while wearing a hazmat suit in order to avoid the inevitable cancer.
I just know it.
As I prepared the “cheese” sauce I noticed that you get a lot more cheese powder in the Brit version. It was so noticeable that I started to get antsy. The one item I thought America would win, was already losing in a terrible way.
Brits are still on the left, looking like real cheese. America is holding up the right with a winning attitude and a semi scary brown tint?!
Sweet dear baby Jesus in a manger. Kraft better not be letting me down and sending the good stuff to Britain and making me eat the crap version. I can’t take the betrayal. Look at how the UK version is actually cheese colored and looks appetizing. And the US version is brown and dying.
I never would have noticed my US Kraft wasn’t appetizing if it weren’t for this stupid taste test. I don’t know how my life will continue on if the US fails this test.
And then I lifted the spoon to my mouth. The British spoon. And it tasted pretty damn good. Then, 30 seconds after swallowing, I noticed something was wrong. My tongue was betraying me.
I had a distinctly burnt aftertaste in my mouth.
So I gave my tongue some Coke Zero, told it to man up and stop fucking around. Don’t fail me now!
I took another bite of the UK pasta and I tried not to fall off my stool.
The burnt taste was terrible. I swigged some more Coke Zero and went in for a third taste. It was disgusting. Just burnt cheese and weird texture and never-ending sorrow that Kraft made this product. This is the macaroni and cheese that I imagine Satan serves in hell. It looks deceivingly appetizing and then you bite into it and all you taste is scorch.
After I drank an entire can of Coke Zero and sniffed a York peppermint patty to clear the burnt misery that was the previous bowl, I was ready to try the US version. It was heaven in my mouth. I drooled a bit as I stared at the bowl. Lola drooled a lot as she stared at the bowl.
“Mommybeast, put some right in my mouth and I’ll tell you which one is better. But don’t put the yucky burnt one in my mouth. Just the one that made you look so happy. Then I’ll tell you who wins. Hint: it’s me since I got to eat human food.”
Since the two previous taste tested items resulted in Britain for the win, I decided to make another UK box of Kraft. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t burnt their delicate, non-chemical containing item. Obviously, I’m used to cooking the hazardous material American version, that surely has chemicals in it to prevent me from burning it easily.
The second box tasted more burnt than the first. And my tongue went on a strike due to the abuse. As I was recovering from the beating my tongue took, I did notice a funny tidbit on the UK box. You can cook this shit in a microwave!!
Now I know what you’re thinking, we can cook the US version in the microwave also. But, to do that, we have to buy a whole different product made by Kraft; easy mac. I have a feeling we Americans are ridiculously inept and Kraft knows we wouldn’t be able to make the big box in a microwave. So instead, Kraft had to dumb it down and put it in little cups with a “fill water to here” line for us.
But none of that matters anymore. America won its first taste test! Britain is still kicking our ass 2-1, but next week it is Oreo time. And if there’s one thing American chubsters expect, it’s fucking awesome Oreos!!
I think I’ve got those Brits on the run.
Here are the ingredients, I’ve highlighted the items in the American version that were suspiciously left out of the British version. And just a note to you Brits, you may want to lobby to get our version of Kraft. It is way better. Maybe not health wise, but we can’t live forever so you might as well get to eat some yummy macaroni and cheese while you can.
UK Ingredients: Macaroni (Durum Wheat Semolina), Cheese Powder (9.5%), Whey Powder (from Milk), Lactose (from Milk), Salt, Emulsifying Salts (E341, E339), Colours (Paprika Extract, Beta-Carotenes).
AMERICAN INGREDIENTS: ENRICHED MACARONI PRODUCT (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE [IRON], THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID); CHEESE SAUCE MIX (WHEY, MILKFAT, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, CHEESE CULTURE, ENZYMES.)
You may note that I didn’t highlight Sodium Phosphate or Calcium Phosphate in the American list. I did some research and found out that is listed as E341 and E339 in the British list.
You learn something new everyday.
Check out my Facebook page @ShankYouVeryMuch
I also tweet like a bird on Twitter @HeatherKeet
You can also find me on Instagram @shankyouheather
Lola and I opened a store so we can hopefully cover the world in her Bulldog face, check it out at Shank You Very Much