And quite honestly, I've been eating more mac & cheese than usual lately. Sonia and I have a pretty good stockpile of shelf-stable foods in case of extreme weather, long-term loss of power, martial law, WWIII, or zombie apocalypse—and since I work from home, I often find myself raiding the pantry at lunch time when we're low on fresh groceries. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I once stated that I preferred Kraft Easy Mac to Joe's Diner Mac n' Cheese. While I no longer stand by that shocking statement, I'll admit that I'm still not quite as fond of Joe's Diner as Sonia and many of you seem to be.
Nevertheless, despite its similar appearance and packaging, I was fairly excited to try this new Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese. And it is very similar to Joe's Diner, except—you guessed it—it includes "roasted chiles from Hatch, New Mexico." Sonia thinks the cheese in this case "tasted a little odd and different." I didn't really notice that. I thought that the chiles were a welcome addition to what was otherwise the same old Joe's Diner Mac n' Cheese. Sonia wishes there were more of the chiles. I can see where she's coming from. The existing chiles give the mac a nice little kick, but it could definitely use more of them in my opinion. We both enjoy spicy foods, and as I've mentioned many times before, Sonia is full-blooded Mexican-American, which automatically puts her in the top 5% or so of hot chile-loving Americans. I think most of the rest of the WG@TJ's team would fall into that category, too. However, it's entirely conceivable that this product would be a little too spicy for some people, which brings me to my main point about this product...
Why not just buy Joe's Diner or any other mac and cheese and add your own personalized amount of Hatch Valley Salsa, Salsa Verde, and/or hot sauce? I mean, sure, there's an extra step and possibly an extra purchase implied there, but spice-o-philes and spice-o-phobes alike can suit their own tastes in that case. With this, there's a chance you're the guy or gal this particular product is tailored to, but there's also a good chance you're not. I'll throw out three and a half stars for this frozen mac dish. Sonia will give it three.
Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.