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WFAEats
Welcome to WFAEats — a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and interesting in the Charlotte food scene. We want to share stories, recipes and culinary escapades and hear about yours!

Mac And Cheese: A Second Helping

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Amy Rogers

Sometimes corporate America smiles back when you step on their toes.

Consider the case of me and the giant Kraft noodle. Back in January, I was busted at the Kraft Foods plant in Champaign, Ill., by a security guard who caught my son photographing me by the company icon. It was a privacy issue, she said, regarding the large noodle behind a company fence on a public street corner.

I know. I didn’t get it either, so I blogged about the incident on WFAEats.

  The next day I received an email from Greg Guidotti, vice president of Meal Solutions for Kraft Foods. Mr. Guidotti apologized and said he would be sending me a gift basket.

      

“It is my hope that we can win you back as a Kraft Mac and Cheese fan, and that we can consider this a first step,” he said.

Sure enough, a large carton arrived at the WFAE studios in Charlotte. Inside was a cheery wicker basket containing 25 packages of Mac and Cheese: traditional elbows in a box, Star Wars Mac and Cheese, and the Easy Mac microwavable product. The gift carton took up half of my back seat. Obviously, the Kraft people take their all-American image seriously.

Macaroni and cheese has been part of the American landscape a long time. The earliest recorded recipe was in 1769. Thomas Jefferson served the stuff at a state dinner in 1802.

The company that became Kraft got in on the act in 1937 with their famous mac mix that allowed Depression-era cooks to serve four people for just 19 cents. Later, World War II rationing made Mac and Cheese a sensible option when meat and cheese were in short supply.

Baby Boomers like me grew up with macaroni and cheese, passing the shameless pastaholic tradition to our children, like my son Lantz who photographed me with the big noodle.

When I told him about this second chapter to the mac and cheese story, he said “Cool,” then asked if I could spare a sample of each product—the blue box, the Star Wars and Easy Cheesy.

“You know you love it,” I said.

Don’t we all?