The Great Mac & Cheese Debate – Elbows or Shapes?

photos & backgrounds2Almost any kid growing up in America enjoyed the iconic blue box of mac and cheese as a main food group. We loved its neon orange hue, the creamy sauce, and bountiful noodles. It’s quite likely that, while growing up, your mother was often frustrated when she’d prepare an elaborate, home-cooked meal, and yet you’d whine for boxed mac and cheese instead.

Some of us have grown out of that favorite childhood food, but many of us, myself included, have not. Even as my culinary tastes have matured, and I’ve become somewhat of a food snob who adores a good homemade mac and cheese, I still think there’s something inexplicably delectable about classic boxed mac and cheese.

However, I have one major criteria that must be met when I pick up a box at the store: it’s got to be the shaped kind. Over the years, I’ve seen Scooby Doo, Spongebob, Monsters Inc., Spiderman, and more formed into pasta and packed into my favorite blue box. I can’t quite explain it, but I think these shaped ones taste so much better than the elbow macaroni. They hold onto more cheese sauce in all their nooks and crannies. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even bother buying the elbow kind.

But that’s just my opinion. Many people feel the exact opposite. If you talk to my sister, she’ll say elbows all the way. So, I started wondering if there were more people out there who are diehard elbow fans, or if most people prefer the shapes.

I asked a few staff and students what their thoughts were on the mac & cheese matter. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Chris Leogrande, director of media relations, said she prefers Velveeta shells over any Kraft mac and cheese, but her son has to have the Kraft shapes, particularly the Spongebob ones.
  • Victoria, a junior public relations major, says she has to have elbows.
  • Kevin Waldron, assistant director of publications, likes to buy an organic version of the Kraft elbows, but even as a kid, he preferred the elbows, and an occasional spiral.
  • Image production assistant Jamie Callari’s vote was for shapes, but she says she also likes the spiral varieties. She said if she’s going to have the elbows, then they’ve got to be a fun flavor variety.
  • Tyler Gardinier, a senior public relations major, said it’s definitely got to be the shapes.

I don’t know folks, but it sounds to me like shapes are the winner here, and I of course agree whole-heartedly. But this was only a small sample of people’s opinions, so tell me, what do you prefer: Kraft macaroni and cheese elbows or shapes?