So why is it that when we talk about ziti or bucatini, we think of some scrumptious authentic Italian dish. We can imagine the indulgent flavours of a perfect pappardelle. Our mouths water at the thought of that amazing orecchiette from that favourite Italian place. But when hear the word ‘macaroni’ we think bright orange mac and cheese from a box. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Kraft Dinner and President’s Choice Deluxe White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese is also awesome. We had a young hockey player living with us that liked to add Cheez Whiz to his KD to make it extra creamy. Another doused it with Tabasco Sauce. I like a spoonful of sambal mixed in mine. My husband is fond of mixing in a taco beef. I may be a foodie, but I’m no food snob. Like everyone, I have my guilty pleasures, but I don’t include KD among them. A box of KD is comfort food in its highest form.
The wonders of Kraft Dinner aside, I still don’t understand why ‘macaroni’ has such a bad name. Why is one shape of pasta haute cuisine and another decidedly low-brow? I really don’t get it. My husband tells me all the time that he doesn’t like penne. But why? Penne is made from the same dough as the other shapes after all. But no he tells me, “penne is different… it’s an awkward shape… you can only get two pieces on your fork… scooby-doos hold more sauce… linguine wraps around your fork… cannelloni is really about the stuffing… lasagna is the same as cannelloni… I don’t like the bow tie ones either… but pappardelle is good…” And the so this entirely illogical, irrational rant goes on. And just for the record, macaroni should have elbows. In his expert opinion the straight noodles you find in the Kraft Dinner box are the only exception to that rule. In all honesty, I just do not understand the hierarchy of pasta. I don’t understand why fast food restaurants make ‘macaroni salad’ while even the most humble mid-range restaurants serve ‘Mediterranean pasta salad.’
Let’s face it, in school you probably glued macaroni to construction paper and called it art. Spaghetti, on the other hand, was the material of choice for building bridges in physics class. I’m sure there is a great Marxist-Feminist explanation for the apparent class war in the pasta isle, but to me it’s all pasta.
My only dilemma today was what to cook… macaroni salad or Kraft Dinner? It is a beautiful day out there and a cold pasta salad seems very appealing, but I really could go for a box of KD. Is the purpose of this blog to share my recipes or to share my passion for food, in all its incarnations? Will you still respect me when you find out I like spam slathered in bright yellow mustard too?
The decision was torturous. I wanted them both but I ultimately I decided on …
I’m all class… just ask anyone.