Welcome to my very first attempt at a product review entry. Read on to learn more about what I have put in my mouth and how I feel about it.
In Canada we just finished season 3 of competition reality series ‘Recipe to Riches’. On this show, ordinary people from across our large nation audition with their unique, homemade foods to try to get Loblaws Inc. to mass produce and sell them. Like Pop Idol, but more relevant to my interests. This year’s winner is from the east coast but I will not hold it against her. In fact she seems like a pretty cool dude. Her winning product is President’s Choice Mexi Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites, which will be available for purchase at Real Canadian Superstores for the next long while as part of her prize. Congratulations!
Apparently my country loves macaroni and cheese, or at least the kind that comes from a blue box. I ate enough of both the instant stuff and homemade stuff when I was a child. However, I am not so familiar with eating it after breading and deep frying. I had macaroni and cheese bites once before—years ago—when I was in the USA at a fast food establishment called Jack in the Box. Sadly they were not memorable.
But PC Mexi Mac ’n’ Cheese Bites were pretty good. They came in a cute box with a caricature of the winner (though I think the packaging will change once they become a permanent PC product):
Inside the $6.99, 372 g package are 12 bites which, sadly, make this product expensive considering the ingredients. Each somewhat cylindrical piece is slightly smaller than a golf ball:
…I do own a Silpat, but I think poorly-measured parchment makes for better pictures.
The Mexi Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites are fully cooked before freezing, so home cooking time is quick. After just 15 minutes in a preheated oven (no turning required), the bites’ insides were warmed through and their outsides browned nicely. I was expecting each bite to burst and leak during baking, but they each managed to stay in one piece.
Now let’s remember that we’re talking about breaded balls of macaroni with cheese sauce. These are not good for your body. Even if these were made with free-range milk and organic wheat or whatever, these would still not be a healthy food choice. They are high in sodium, saturated fats, and trans unsaturated fats. Two pieces cost you approximately 180 calories.
If you can put the above aside for a moment and remember that we all eventually die, these bites are tasty! While I expected the bites to have a flat flavour, the rich cheesiness of the filling is in fact balanced with the slight heat and acidity of the chili pepper chunks. The insides are zesty, not tongue-scorching hot. The bites’ outsides have a slight crunch to them, entertaining the mouth tissues beyond the Velveeta-like texture of the insides. I probably would not administer these to children, but I think I would quite enjoy these at 3am under certain circumstances.
To summarize: a little expensive, quite fattening, but a novel little treat and easy to prepare. Might buy again if each package were to contain more pieces and become cheaper per gram.