Gotta be KD
August 1, 2015 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Kraft Mac and Cheese officially changes its Canadian name to KD Staple of children and dorm rooms everywhere, Kraft Dinner ("macaroni & cheese" to our friends down south) will now be officially branded as KD in Canada. posted by St. Peepsburg (67 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Pepsi Unnatural-Yellow-Orange?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:40 AM on August 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


Neither crafted nor dinner.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:46 AM on August 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


KD: just as shid-dee
posted by oceanjesse at 7:49 AM on August 1, 2015


Let the food thread social position jockeying begin! Who can be the foodiest or least foodiest? The winner gets a lonely sense of unrecognized victory and a hollow sense of self.
posted by srboisvert at 7:57 AM on August 1, 2015 [58 favorites]


But not a real green dress, that's cruel
posted by schmod at 8:00 AM on August 1, 2015 [61 favorites]


Hey, I'd still eat it even if I had a million dollars.

But not with ketchup. Even if it were Dijon ketchup. I get malt vinegar on fries and poutine, but that's an idea I'm not ready to adopt.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:00 AM on August 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is this like MacDonald's changing its name to Mickey D's? Seems like silly pandering.
posted by demiurge at 8:04 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because it's not cheese?
posted by destro at 8:09 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


This seems like clear pandering by the Canadian authorities to try to get Kevin Durant to sign with the Raptors next year.

But as everyone knows, you don't attract giants with "KD", you attract them with Kraft Dinner.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:13 AM on August 1, 2015


Yeah I'm not sure this will work to drive sales. I appreciate the distinct society-ness of it but I only eat KD once a year when I have a real hankering. That being said I always think of it very fondly, and was also puzzled a few years ago when I learned that it is not universally called Kraft Dinner.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:19 AM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


As it should be.
posted by HighLife at 8:22 AM on August 1, 2015


srboisvert: "Let the food thread social position jockeying begin! Who can be the foodiest or least foodiest? The winner gets a lonely sense of unrecognized victory and a hollow sense of self."

I love Annie's Wisconsin Mac n Cheese (the kind with the yellow liquid). I WIN BOTH!
posted by symbioid at 8:25 AM on August 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I predict that Canadians, through a mass subconscious desire to not suborn themselves to either corporate dominance or American English, will suddenly start calling it “Kraft Mealtime”.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:26 AM on August 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


k.d. lang can't be thrilled about being demoted to being Canada's second most famous KD.

The article says that it's long been called KD in Canadian households. Is that more of an Eastern Canada than a Western Canada thing? (Like pretty much all other Canadian iconography?) I'd heard it called KD before, but it wasn't standard.
posted by painquale at 8:26 AM on August 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Maritimer here: KD was more common than Kraft dinner in my household. Now I live in the US and am appalled at the lack of efficiency in the naming of a convenience food.
posted by carolr at 8:42 AM on August 1, 2015


St. Peepsburg: "9Yeah I'm not sure this will work to drive sales. I appreciate the distinct society-ness of it but I only eat KD once a year when I have a real hankering. That being said I always think of it very fondly, and was also puzzled a few years ago when I learned that it is not universally called Kraft Dinner."

TIL: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (or in my house, "Monkey Cheese") is called something else in Canada. That's not really puzzling, since it doesn't have anything like real cheese and words have meaning in Canada.

I'm not going to defend it as a healthy food choice because it certainly isn't. It is, however, pretty damn good once in a blue moon if you mix in slices of pan-fried polish sausage.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:44 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's an east/west divide. I did my undergrad in NL and grew up in NS, never heard it called KD.

Oh! You mean an Ontario thing?

/Easterner grumble
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:45 AM on August 1, 2015


You put hotdogs and peas to the KD. For the vitamins.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 8:51 AM on August 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Peas? That's fine in guacamole, sure.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:52 AM on August 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


St. Peepsburg: I appreciate the distinct society-ness of it but I only eat KD once a year when I have a real hankering.

So you wouldn't call it a.... constant craving?
posted by dr_dank at 8:53 AM on August 1, 2015 [46 favorites]


Annie's white cheddar with cubes of fried SPAM and frozen peas.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:00 AM on August 1, 2015


They can call it whatever they like... but...

The company will remove synthetic colours and artificial preservatives from its macaroni and cheese by the end of 2016.

Noooooooooooo! Are they trying to make it actual food? This can't be stood for!
posted by cirhosis at 9:09 AM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


West coaster here, I only ever heard it called KD in commercials., it was always Kraft Dinner. And to double block and bleed's point, it's entirely possible it had to be called Kraft Dinner because there is no actual cheese in it, which may have violated labeling regs. We're very protective of our dairy industry here.
posted by Zedcaster at 9:11 AM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


In that Buzzfeed comparison, I don't believe that the US version is the equivalent of the Canadian version. You can still buy the tall, skinny boxes in the US like the Canadian version and the bigger, wide boxes are different. It says so right on the front with the "Deluxe" in the name. I think the "Deluxe" variety has different, larger noodles (and one of the tasters comments on this) and a different cheese flavor formulation -- maybe even different proportion of milk/water in the cooking instructions, too. I question that test.

When I was an adolescent and young adult (early 80s) I ate a whole bunch of that basic Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. I never liked it much, but my mom always kept it around and when I first lived on my own, it was cheap. But I absolutely love real macaroni and cheese and so I don't hate this really fake stuff and I do like the less fake "gooey cheese in a squeeze packet" variety, which I do still eat. But I buy Annie's.

My ex-wife was Canadian and I was dumbfounded at the love that Canadians have for this. She didn't eat it, though. People in some regions of the US add ketchup to it, but it wasn't until I met her that I'd ever heard of this. So the combination of Canadians loving Kraft Dinner and throwing ketchup all over it led me to my conclusion that there's something very wrong in the superficially benign Canadian soul. Bryan Adams was my first clue.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:36 AM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


We were a Stouffer's family. And it was best cooked in the oven so you could mash the crust into it. (my seafood hating dad lived on the stuff on Fridays during lent). But Kraft's is OK, too.
posted by jonmc at 9:38 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Such a happy and inviting logo that will surely embrace a cultural moniker as well as cement recognition with young people in Canada and nutritional value be damned. Let's face it, a "serving size" of KD is tiny. Most people eat more than half the box at around 800 calories of carbs and saturated fat.
Just bring back Joe Camel already!!
posted by Muncle at 9:41 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Costco mac and cheese 4eva!

I thought there was a trick to making the boxed version - less milk, I think. Made the texture thicker and more intensely flavored. It's been years since I had the Kraft version but I used to like it as a kid. ( Ivan Fyodorovich - I never heard nor witnessed people adding ketchup to mac n cheese, this sounds pointless as it would completely obliterate the cheesy goodness. Bleh.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:48 AM on August 1, 2015


In my midwest US childhood, we occasionally got the Kraft stuff, but real mac & cheese, about which we were unbearably snobby, was always bulk macaroni with Velveeta and a little milk/butter. Dietarily speaking, I doubt this was an improvement, or even chemically all that different, but I still think it probably tastes better.

Somehow, I think I just now registered for the first time that Velveeta is a Kraft product.
posted by brennen at 9:51 AM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


We always have a box in the pantry for that occasional KD craving that nothing else will satisfy. But we actually eat it so rarely that we found out a couple years ago what happens when it passes its best-by date. Let me tell you, folks - it's a horrible thing. The unnaturally-orange cheezfood powder turns unnatural brown and, when added to the macaroni, emits a stench that made me wonder if I was going to have to throw the stainless steel pot away. Much to our amazement, expiry dates do matter with this shit.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 10:01 AM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ho-de-oh-um-doh-um-day
Ho-de-oh-um-day-oh
Ho-de-oh-um-doh-um-day
Fattening up our tapeworms!

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:33 AM on August 1, 2015 [23 favorites]


I wish I could find an old article on all the ways Canadians eat Kraft Dinner (also, never knew other people called it KD until YTV came West in the 90s and then it was only in commercials too). Apparently some people love mashing canned fish into it. I add IKEA meatballs and ketchup :D
posted by Calzephyr at 10:46 AM on August 1, 2015


I moved to Canada too late in childhood to have been weaned on KD like most of my friends appeared to have been (my mum would bake a killer real macaroni and cheese) but I still get the appeal, and the memories the stuff sparks. Kraft Dinner always reminds me of the second night on a canoe trip when I was a 16 year old at Junior Ranger camp in northern Ontario. My friends and I, young fools all, had stayed up all night the first night, goofing around the fire, swimming in the dark, and the second day of paddling was incredibly long and hard: those of us that had stayed up were exhausted to the point of delirium. It is possible, I found, to fall asleep while still paddling a canoe.
We kept going until dusk, finally finding a place where we could camp for the night, a narrow gravel bar that was home to more mosquitoes than I'd ever thought possible, clouds of them, darkening the sky and clinging to us. While the rest of the crew put up up the ancient canvas tents (you had to cut down 7 poplar saplings as poles for each, every time you made camp; this was not your modern no-trace camping) in this misery, the guys on kitchen duty made dinner over a quickly-built fire. The ingredients were just Kraft dinner and the ground beef that had been thawing out in the wanigan for two days, but this became, once we were all finally secure in the shelter of our tents with a heaping bowl of KD and beef in hand, one of the finest and most satisfying meals I've ever had in my life.
posted by Flashman at 10:54 AM on August 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


Truth be told, I prefer Annie's too; it tastes a bit cheesier.

(Also some of the boxes talk about one year when they tried promoting themselves by going to my home town's July 4th parade and handing out boxes, and I'm chuffed because this way more people learn about the Boombox Parade which is AWESOME.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:06 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kraft Dinner is good homesick food. I know that in that sentence 'food' should be in quotation marks or italicized because of the orange quality, but the orange is part of its charm.
posted by betweenthebars at 11:07 AM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Eh, I never called it "KD," and I don't know anyone who did.

"I thought there was a trick to making the boxed version - less milk, I think. Made the texture thicker and more intensely flavored."

Yes, exactly! That was the first kitcheny thing I ever learned. Maybe 25% less water or milk in just about any freeze dried, powdered pasta thing is a good idea.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:35 AM on August 1, 2015


If they're going to put KD on the box, y'all ought to start calling it Kilo Delta.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:38 AM on August 1, 2015


I prefer PC Deluxe White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, to Kraft's version of Kraft Dinner.
posted by Harpocrates at 11:48 AM on August 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I would totally be snarky about Kraft Mac n Cheese, but the microwave version helped us Jeffery our food costs massively down on our anniversary trip to Seattle last month. Mac, apples, and peanut butter sandwiches meant we only had to go out for one meal.

And...it wasn't bad. A but salty, and nowhere near as good as our homemade mac and cheese, but not as sweet as I remembered, and it made a pretty decent filler.
posted by happyroach at 11:52 AM on August 1, 2015


BOCK. Bright Orange Children Kibble.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:01 PM on August 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ketchup on Kraft Dinner or Macaroni & Cheese (or whatever you call it) seems ... frightening.

I did hear rumors of this as a child. Supposedly one of my friends had a little brother who put ketchup on pancakes. The horror.
posted by theorique at 12:39 PM on August 1, 2015


I have been known to eat Kraft Dinner ONLY if it is the plain noodles, NOT any shapes or squiggles. For some reason, the shaped noodles are what put it over the edge as inedible for me.

But speaking of ketchup, a favorite of mine as a kid was ketchup sandwiches, or ketchup and nothing else on white bread. It can only be the vitamin fortification that allowed me to develop a complete bone structure by adulthood.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 1:56 PM on August 1, 2015


Some of the new flavours aren't bad. So far my favourite is mixing a box of Extra Creamy with a box of White Cheddar. Of course you could just half-and-half split the cheese (I know) packets with a single box of noodles if you're not feeding the whole family or a teenager.
posted by rocket88 at 2:15 PM on August 1, 2015


I know this makes it so much worse for you, but I've long added a healthy dose of soy sauce to my blue box to make it a little tastier. Also saltier, but I love salt.
posted by Night_owl at 2:46 PM on August 1, 2015


BUT WAIT! Kraft has just merged with Heinz, making the "Kraft Heinz Corporation", complete with merged logo. SO, doesn't that mean it should be "Kraft Heinz Dinner" or "KHD"???? And do we now HAVE TO eat it with ketchup (which doesn't hurt, I learned growing up).
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:51 PM on August 1, 2015


You know how sometimes pregnant women will get a craving for a particular kind of dirt and everybody says it's because their body is needing some essential ingredient that only comes from there? And we al just kind of sit back and think about how awesome and wise the human body is and we should just listen to it.


I'm telling you right now, there's something in KD that I get no other way.

Body wisdom. I'm telling you.
posted by merelyglib at 2:54 PM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was dumbfounded at the love that Canadians have for this.

As a Canadian in Canada I had no idea it still existed, but I do remember it as a child. It was pretty much the first thing that really solidified the idea of "disgusting" in my young mind.

Often, companies change their brand names when things go wrong...

Last week we had WMDs, not we got the Pandemic.
posted by juiceCake at 3:10 PM on August 1, 2015


Since being diagnosed Celiac my Canadian genes have been craving Kraft Dinner which is odd as maybe I've eaten a box once in the last five years but now my brain is all Kraft Dinner all the time. I think it's a distant yearning for the comfort of childhood.

Annie's gluten free macaroni and cheese was so disgusting that my dog backed away from the bowl I gave her to lick.

Presidents choice white cheddar was a hot commodity in college in the 90's. One box was equal to two KDs as it tasted better and had bigger noodles so you got more for your buck.

*sob* these lips will never taste Kraft Dinner again *sob*
posted by kanata at 3:28 PM on August 1, 2015


I'm sure I'll be flayed alive for saying this, but I actually prefer the store-brand mac & cheez over Kraft.

Also, ketchup on it? I love ketchup, how much it's appropriate to put on?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 3:39 PM on August 1, 2015


"Kraft Dinner" always seemed to be the creepiest possible name for a food. Like "red sauce". Look there's only 3 things we know - it's made by Kraft and it's edible, probably for dinner. I like Kraft Mac n cheese though I eat it all the time.
posted by bleep at 4:36 PM on August 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I grew up poor in the North so Kraft Dinner was a regular feature of my childhood. Always Kraft Dinner, never the Poochie-fied KD. Even in French we'd just call it Kraft Dinner (rather than Dîner du Kraft or whatever). My mum had loads of tricks to make it better - evaporated milk, more butter, less milk, fried ham, peas, cauliflower, endless... My dad ate it with ketchup, the rest of the family thought this was a step too far. As for it now? I ate it so much growing up that frankly I can't stand it anymore. The mere smell of it reminds me of hard times. Hot Dogs do the same.

Hilariously, for my partner it is a huge treat. She lived in a household with lots of foster kids, so they almost never ate packaged food as it just didn't feed enough people. A lot of the food was bought directly from farmers. When I first met the family they still were buying sides of beef, for instance. So for my partner it became this unobtainable foodstuff which was "too expensive" and "too special" to have more than once every few months.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:55 PM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


A college friend spent a year abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, and invited me for a visit for Spring Break. Before I joined her I called ahead to see if there was anything I could bring over from the U.S. "Not that I can think of..." She began, but then gasped. "Wait. WAIT. Do you know what I really miss? KRAFT MAC AND CHEESE."

"Really?"

"They don't have it here and I NEED SOME."

I brought three boxes. I took a nap upon arrival at her flat, and when I woke up, I found she had mixed up all three boxes in an enormous bowl for lunch, for me, her, and her roommate (another U.S. Person). After we had our first bites she and her roommate let out orgasmic gasps and then did a whole Wayne's World "we're not worthy" thing at me. We finished the entire bowl, them having most of it after flinging themselves at it like famine victims.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:12 PM on August 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I feel empathy for EmpressCallipygos. Kraft mac and cheese is such a comfort food to me. I don't eat it more than once every couple months but I am SO TEMPTED right now.
I feel that the directions are wrong and have you overcook the noodles and then cool them down too much with the mixing. I like to cook a few minutes less than directed, pre melt the butter over low heat and mix the powder and some milk before adding the noodles to the pot again and then add splashes of milk until it seems right, which I'm pretty sure ends up using MORE milk but I like what I like.

I am not sure how I feel about the fact that I enjoy cooking but mostly follow recipes and the only things I do by feel and with definite opinions about technique are boxed mac and cheese and guacamole.
posted by flaterik at 5:38 PM on August 1, 2015


*EmpressCallipygos's friends
posted by flaterik at 6:47 PM on August 1, 2015


YOU WILL ADD PARMESAN CHEESE.
YOU WILL ADD CAYENNE PEPPER.
YOU WILL BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:17 PM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


My parents used to feed us this on a pretty regular basis. Getting ketchup on it by accident one day taught me the right way to eat it. (My mom would make baked mac and cheese with block Velveeta and canned tomato sauce for parties – which I still love! – so I guess I was primed for the flavor profile.) I came to prefer over time the boxed Velveeta shells, which is actually pretty good if you mix in some herbs and cayenne and garam masala or whatever. These days, I've learned to whip up a small batch of béchamel in a couple of minutes and melt in some cheese; seriously, never going back.
posted by WCWedin at 8:19 PM on August 1, 2015


Apparently some people love mashing canned fish into it. I add IKEA meatballs and ketchup :D

Try it with a generous portion of uncooked duck fat.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:28 PM on August 1, 2015


(Seriously, though, the secret is a dollop of Jalapeño Tex Mex Cheez Whiz.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:30 PM on August 1, 2015


My friend introduced me to the new global combo: butter chicken leftovers served over KD. From the wilds of Scarborough...it works in a very weird but yummy way. I might be hallucinating but I think it came up in an issue of Toronto Life.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:36 PM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I should mention that among very many other delicious things, my great-grandmother would regularly bake for me true homemade macaroni and cheese. (And she'd feed me lamb chops, and backyard strawberries with cream and sugar, and...) An abiding love of real macaroni and cheese was, um, baked into me at a very young age. The result is that about macaroni and cheese I'm the same way as I am about pizza -- somehow simultaneously a snob but willing to eat almost any inferior variety because even when it's bad, it's still so good. You'd think that I'd eat this powdered cheese version, and, honestly, I wouldn't turn it away, but as a child accustomed to the real homemade version, this particular item was never a comfort food to me, only a poor substitute. And the velveeta-like cheese packet versions are sufficiently superior (though still far from the heaven of the real thing), I haven't eaten the powdered version for many years.

My sister, though, ten years my junior, had almost no experience eating the homemade version and for her, like so many here, this is a nostalgic comfort food of her childhood. She eats it now and feeds it to her two young boys. Even though they otherwise tend to healthier foods. She prefers, though, the version that I made for her and taught her to make herself when she was little -- some added parmesan as well as any cheese handy from the fridge. She often comments on "my" recipe for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese that I taught her, which leaves me a bit bemused.

Actually, these days, I eat a lot of the frozen varieties that are a bit closer to homemade. For convenience's sake, mostly. I've tried my hand at making it from scratch a few times, but I've never gotten quite the results I was hoping for. More generally, I'd like to make cheese sauces, but I find the emulsification more difficult than I expected.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:30 PM on August 1, 2015


as a child accustomed to the real homemade version, this particular item was never a comfort food to me, only a poor substitute

I've never really considered Kraft Mac'n'Cheese to be the same foodstuff as real macaroni and cheese. I have a complicated relationship with the enjoyment of cheese, and until the last few years didn't really like the homemade kind at all!

Calling it Kraft Dinner makes a lot of sense to me since it seems to occupy it's own unique food niche.
posted by flaterik at 11:32 PM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's amazing with tuna.

It's 4:30 AM, and if I have any here, I'm making it. I may or may not return to this thread.
posted by persona au gratin at 4:26 AM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


As soon as I discovered how takes exactly as long to make macaroni & cheese with actual ingredients in a quick bechamel as it takes to prepare miserable orange shit in a cardboard box, I came to regret that I'd lived so much of my life less well than I could have.

I'm no stranger to infantile comfort foods, like the occasional margarine, orange American "cheese," and supermarket white bread grilled cheese sandwich, but even nostalgia can't make Kraft anything (or the kind we ate, from Golden Grain) into more than an artifact of de facto child abuse. It is the marshmallow circus peanuts of savory foods.
posted by sonascope at 6:25 AM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


My friend introduced me to the new global combo: butter chicken leftovers served over KD.

Without any snark intended - that sounds absolutely delicious.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:14 AM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I lived off the generic Target brand of this stuff in college because it was $0.33/box, and I didn't know how to cook. One day my friend came over and put in sauted onions, breadcrumbs, and hot sauce into it. Mind. Blown.

I've never heard it called anything but macaronic and cheese. But I also never knew homemade mac and cheese was even a thing people could DO, when I was growing up.
posted by inertia at 1:47 PM on August 2, 2015


My friend introduced me to the new global combo: butter chicken leftovers served over KD.

Without any snark intended - that sounds absolutely delicious.


I've had butter chicken poutine. And while I was admittedly in a doubly-altered state of mind at the time, I feel no shame at pronouncing it the most wonderful cross-cross-cultural culinary mashup that ever there was.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:53 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Every time I go back to Canada (every couple of years, on average), I show up at my mom's house with a rental car full of food and booze, including like a dozen boxes of KD. My mom's always like 'what do want to eat while you're here? Turkey? Prime rib? Homemade pierogies?' and I'm like 'Yes, all of the above, and also: a LOT of KD!' I end up buying another dozen boxes and liberating the cheese powder packets to bring back with me to Korea.

She thinks I'm a little nuts, but then, she pretty much always has.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:21 PM on August 2, 2015


I make my own quite delicious macaroni and cheese from scratch here in Korea once in a while, but KD is one of the happy tastes of my childhood, and there's nothing quite like it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:22 PM on August 2, 2015


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