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Friday, January 6, 2017

Trader Joe's Truffle Mac & Cheese

Truffles. Not the candy kind. The fungi kind. They fancy.  Super fancy. I mean, they can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for a pound of them...but as far as I am concerned, they're just hoity-toity mushrooms. That *might* because I don't have much experience with them. See: that aforementioned price.

But mac 'n cheese? Please. I got two kids under the age of four: we live on that stuff. I know mac 'n cheese. So do you. So, when high class fungus meets everyday toddler fare, what do you get?

You get Trader Joe's Truffle Mac & Cheese.

Welll....not quite. Let's start with the noodles. Ain't no elbows around yeah. Nah, it's cavatappi. Yeah, it does kinda taste the same...but not really. It's heavier, sturdier, bitier, firmer, and all around just, well, more fancy. These particular noodles are definitely more towards al dente too, which is perfect.

And cheese. Ain't no weird orange powder packets here. It's a blend of five cheeses -  gouda, sharp cheddar, asiago, parmesan, and romano. All primo cheese, and unlike other five cheese concoctions, I can actually taste all five - the smokiness of the gouda, the sharpness of the cheddar, the impeccable tastiness of asiago, the mildness of the other two. Which is fairly impressive, because with my first visual impression, it looked like a watery mess, but after stirring and letting it set for a minute after nuking, the sauce settled into a decently thick creamy base. Not like your Italian grandma's, but it'll do for a frozen entree. The crimini mushrooms added a little touch of fungus among us, which I didn't mind one bit - Sandy however avoided. More for me.

So for the truffles...it comes to us in form of "truffle extract" as the last ingredient. There's more rice starch and salt in here than any actual truffle substance. Is that like a drop or two...at most? I don't know. But, in perhaps a mind trick in trying to convince myself that this is some fancyish fare, there does seem to a little extra oomph to the cheese sauce that is otherwise unexplained. Perhaps it's some of that semi-mysterious umami  potency that truffles are purported to have.

In short: a good dish. It just may be the best frozen mac n cheese I've ever had. I just wish it came in the two separate white ramekin-type deals that are pictured on the front, instead of the typical black plastic microwave tray, because, you know, fancy. Regardless, you can feel free to raise your pinkie with this one, folks. And it won't raise your budget at only a few bucks ($3 or $4), so go truffle hunting...and dig in.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Truffle Mac & Cheese: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

3 comments:

  1. So it doesn't have actual chunks of truffles?! The black bits are mushrooms. I wonder what it taste like with real truffles.

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  2. I was going to get this but then saw "truffle extract" and skipped because I felt duped lol

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  3. I am not a fan of mushrooms so I think I will pass on this.

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