Review: Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese (New)

Cracker Barrel brand cheese has been around since 1954. Just recently, the company has started making macaroni and cheese. You see where this is going…

First of all, let us say that this is not the same Cracker Barrel as Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. That place is different. Confused yet? Have another beer…

This Cracker Barrel is now owned by Kraft. So Kraft has pushed it to the next level by offering the new mac and cheese. There are a bunch of flavors available.

IMG_20160418_162940603Sharp Cheddar, Sharp White Cheddar, Cheddar Havarti, and Sharp Cheddar & Bacon are available, all expertly shot above at our local Kroger by Herman.

Think about this for a minute. Kraft already has the regular Kraft mac and cheese that has been around forever. Kraft also makes Velveeta mac and cheese. Now, we have the Cracker Barrel version. But they are all the same company. You are competing with yourself, Kraft! But ok, makes sense we guess.

Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese is designed to be “higher end,” if you will. According to an article in AdvertisingAge, Cracker Barrel’s version is, “…is positioned at a premium to Kraft’s other boxed macaroni and cheese products…” So, this is basically an upscale mac and cheese.  Good enough.

Also, the box says that there are no artificial flavors or dyes. Nifty. We don’t care about that, but whatever. It’s “high end.” Or something.

IMG_20160519_115021As you can see, “The Difference Is In The Cheese!”

We love macaroni and cheese. What isn’t to love about a bowl full of cheese all over macaroni? Plus, it makes great drunk food. We decided to review the Sharp Cheddar version since that seems like the standard. No, we aren’t ordinary! Stick with us, people.

IMG_20160519_115454Oh look! Macaroni! And a cheese packet! It is worth noting that the macaroni is much larger than the regular Kraft kind. Plus, they have nifty little ridges on them. Classy.

We cooked the macaroni for 10 minutes and it was perfect, despite the box saying to cook for 11-12 minutes. Actually, we didn’t cook it. Herman did. Denny would burn water, so Herman wouldn’t let him near the stove!

IMG_20160519_122336Yummay! Cooked macaroni and a glob of cheese sauce. See the little pattern on the mac? Also, this is a good time to bring up that the cheese isn’t a powder like regular Kraft mac and cheese. Yet it is different than the Velveeta kind, too. More on that later…

Herman expertly mixed the goo (HO HO!) all over the mac, and…

IMG_20160519_122611If that isn’t one good looking bowl of mac and cheese, we don’t know what is!

The macaroni itself is good stuff. As mentioned, it is much bigger than the regular Kraft stuff. This made for a pretty filling meal. Other than that, it is macaroni. Not much else to say.

The cheese is the highlight here, obviously. The flavor is indeed a sharp cheddar, but it isn’t overly sharp. We think that is a good thing. The consistency was very creamy. We could put a joke here, but we will actually pretend we are civilized for once!

Velveeta turns to concrete almost immediately, and this cheese did not. It stayed pretty creamy. Herman took a while to finish his bowl (because he wouldn’t stop drinking!), and only after quite some time did the cheese start to congeal. But he mixed it back up, and it got pretty creamy again. By this time, Velveeta would have hardened to the point of becoming a weapon!

Overall, this is very good macaroni and cheese. It is a notch above the regular Kraft kind and Velveeta. We can see why Kraft would position this the way that it is.

The price, as you saw above, was $3.49 at Kroger. We think it would probably be cheaper at Walmart. But since we are too lazy to go and check, we can’t say for sure. Detectives we ain’t.

As we said, this is a notch better than the other kinds. So, we think it is worth the extra money. Plus, according to the boxes, you get twice the amount of food in the Cracker Barrel box as you do in 1 box of the regular Kraft mac and cheese. The value is there for what you get.

Would we get it again? Yes. This is good stuff. It is good by itself as a meal, and it would make a great side dish.

Good job, Kraft. We approve, and that’s all that matters!

12 Comments

  1. mary ryan

    I am a huge mac and cheese fan and this was AWFUL! The cheese was SHINY and tasted like it was plastic. Very disappointed. I will never purchase this product again and am sorry that I did this time.

    Reply
  2. Very sad

    I am very disappointed. As a Mac and cheese conisseaur I was not pleased. I think this box of mac & cheese was plagiarized and just a downright dissapointment to the Mac and cheese lovers of this world. I write this on behalf of everyone. Save your money!!! I figured I would give every box of mac & cheese a fair chance. This should be taken off the market. I wouldn’t want anyone to waste their time and hard earned money on this garbage. I love Cracker Barrel to death. I use to work for them. But this is just a disgrace to the mac and cheese society as a whole. Hot sauce didn’t even make it better. I mean, a tad better. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Marie

      Agree!! I bought the sharp cheddar thinking that it would be so much better than the Kraft deluxe Mac and cheese. Very disappointed to say it tasted EXACTLY like Kraft brand. Will not waste my money on this again!!

      Reply
    2. melissa

      you worked for the packaged cheese company? thats a lot of anger over a $3 loss. i thought it was okay, basically velveeta shells & cheese with elbows and a tiny bit of a tang element. not bad. not fab. i’d maybe buy it again only if i was in the mood for the velveeta one cause i think the elbows hold up a lot better than the shells.

      for a few dollars its fine and worth trying if you like the shells & cheese variation…. but if you think that one is gross, this won’t change your mind about squeeze packet goo cheese.

      Reply
  3. Garfey Buffknuckles

    Nobody seems to want to talk about Havarti, so I will. I’ve always liked Cracker Barrel, but Havarti will have to be one exception. As a “Cheddar,” it tastes very dull and flat. Definitely has no “sharpness” to it. I’ve tasted candlewax with a more exciting flavor. I think Kraft must be trying to hide this, because I can’t find any posts willing to talk about Havarti.

    Reply
  4. HO HO!

    (HO HO!)

    Reply
  5. sunny

    I love that conspiracy theories are forming over macaroni and cheese. This makes me happy inside. LOL

    Reply
  6. SallyZ

    Love this stuff! I always bought the Kraft white cheddar, which was just passable. When I tried the Cracker Barrel white cheddar, it was great!
    Obviously nothing is as good as homemade, but the CB far out-shines the Kraft in flavor, amount and creaminess! And the best part IS…the creaminess!
    I will no longer buy the old blue box Kraft! And when you consider you have to add 1/2 stick butter and some milk to the blue box stuff, the price isn’t that much more!

    Reply
    1. Trina

      I do agree! But really do not like the noodle so I get a thick she’ll and it is mighty yummy!

      Reply
  7. Licia

    For a boxed mac and cheese this is far superior to any others we have ever tried. It is also a good vehicle for adding “stuff” I have added broccoli and a touch of cream and it was yummy! Made it once with my own seasoned chop meat for a complete comfort meal too. The mac and cheeses if perfect by itself, but like I mentioned it has other possibilities too

    Reply
  8. julane

    I bought the sharp cheddar the hint of sharp was good just needs to be cheesier, not worth the moneymore mac than cheese

    Reply
  9. JW

    I did a little searching online for reviews about this product because I tried it and was curious to see if anyone had the same opinion I did. Reading through this review, I honestly have no idea what kind of taste the people who wrote this article have! I was EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED! I tried this product when it first arrived at my local grocery store (roughly 6 months ago) and boy was I excited to try it. WRONG. I like mac and cheese, no love it, whether its boxed or homemade to me its the ultimate comfort food, I’m sure many people would agree. But after having this, I’ll stick to a nice bowl of the original Kraft in a pinch or make some homemade. Thanks Cracker Barrel, but no thanks. It just goes to show that a nice picture on a box is not a guarantee. In my opinion, and contrary to what this article says, this product is no better than Velveeta Mac and Cheese.

    Reply

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