Who Cut the Chreeze?

I wanted to like it. I really did. So much so that even after two previous attempts that failed dismally, I ignored that little voice saying “You’ll be sorry!” and reached for the box looking beatifically at me from its perch. Because I was hungry. Because I wanted something reminiscent of the crap I used to eat. Because sometimes macrobiotics means giving in to cravings.

Road’s End Organics

Macaroni & Chreeze: Cheddar Style Organic Pasta Dinner. Great idea, right? Lactose free, so I wouldn’t have to take a pill. Gluten free, because, well, this particular box just came that way.  Soy free for extra measure. Cholesterol free.


I tried, I did, I told myself this time the ingredients will all mesh together to make the end result look the way it does on the box. Because marketing never lies, right?

What I got for my end result was a steaming pile of brown paper bag-colored elbow macaroni looking like it got into a fight with a raw sienna monster with a big nose, a low IQ and a head cold, and lost.

As my husband said, I was rather disappointed.

The trouble starts right away with the cooking time. Recommended boiling time is 6 to 10 minutes, and the box warns you not to overcook.

I’ve never figured out what that means.

I boil them for 6 minutes, and they’re still too hard. I leave them in for about 8 minutes, and you can tell they’re thinking about softening, but not by much. I let them go for the full 10 minutes, and they’re no longer interested in what I want. I take them out, rinse them off in cold water, and let them drain while I mix the fake cheese with soy milk and a dab of soy butter for that extra creamy richness. Mix thoroughly! No lumps!

I pour the macaroni back into the pot, turn the heat back on and commence with the mixing. Chreeze will thicken up after 1-2 minutes, the box assures me. And it does, but…it doesn’t stick to the actual macaroni. It sticks to the pot. To my mixing spoon. To the spatula we used to get it off the mixing spoon and the pot.

I piled some in a bowl and tried it anyway; I was hungry.

I about lost my appetite.

Macaroni: Chewy in a still-feel-the-edges-on-it way.
Chreeze: Sticking to the bowl.

Maybe it’s me; I just can’t cook macaroni that isn’t an enriched Kraft product and what am I doing buying a box of processed stuff anyway. Or maybe they’re not supposed to taste anything like an enriched Kraft product, in which case I’m doing everything right even though I still shouldn’t be buying a box of processed stuff.

But the chreeze should stick to the buggers no matter what.

Has anyone managed to cook this brand with success?

Not orange, but I kind of want them now anyway, and they’re from here.

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