My mac and cheese secrets

coldpackcheeseIt’s no secret that my little family loves mac and cheese. I’ve shared my favourite recipe here and demo’d it on TV. The secret to the ultra cheesy taste and colour of my mac and cheese is cold pack Cheddar.

In the past, readers have asked me to tell them more about this kind of cheese. Many worry that it’s processed but, in truth, cold pack Cheddar is all dairy-based. Cheese expert Anne Marie Shubin told me herself.

A pound of regular Cheddar is made using between 10 and 11 lbs of milk. Then, to make cold pack Cheddar, the aged cheese is broken down, blended with some butter and reformed as cold pack cheese. A number of companies including Kraft and Ivanhoe make it and sell it here in Canada.

I hope that this info helps you to feel good about adding cold pack Cheddar to your sauces, soups and mac and cheese!

In the meantime, as you wile away the minutes between now and the next time you can make mac and cheese yourself, check out this
slide show and article about New York City’s new MacBar, a mac and cheese restaurant. This is my kind of food porn!

17 Responses to My mac and cheese secrets

  1. Rosa says:

    That is one of my favorite dish! a family tradition…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Never heard of cold pack cheese before. Thanks for explaining that it’s real cheese. I admit, I’m one of those people who would have skipped right on by it thinking it’s a “processed cheese food”.

    To be honest, I rarely buy cheese at the grocery store any more. I buy it from the Farmers’ Market or specialty shops because most “old cheddar” in the stores is bland. Is this as flavourful as a 5-year-old cheddar? Just curious.

    • danamccauley says:

      It’s very cheddar-y Charmian. And, for the cheddar part of the recipe I do use Balderson medium — that’s our default basic cheese at home since I like it for so many things. I also buy their old Cheddar but only for specific recipes.

  3. Amanda S. says:

    I love coldpack cheddar. It’s one of the very, very few supermarket cheeses that I buy and I’ve been afraid to look into how processed it is. Glad to hear the good news.

  4. How interesting, I’m eating leftover mac and cheese for breakfast right now.

    I get colour in my mac and cheese by using squash in the sauce. And whatever cheese that is around (old cheddar, parm, and blue in today’s version).

  5. Barb says:

    I love the idea of the MacBar! I wonder how well it would do in our “never try anything new” town? Lots of college and university kids, however, so that indicates potnetial…..

  6. Pat Sinclair says:

    Thanks for the tip, Dana. I’m working on Mac and Cheese with Tomato for the Comfort Food chapter of The Ultimate Empty Nesters’ Cookbook. Everybody loves Mac and Cheese!

  7. Alona Martinez is an official mac and cheese SLUT!!! (There, I’ve said it). Cold-packed cheddar? Will have to sample it out. Here’s another delish version from Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, http://steamykitchen.com/175-lobstermac.html

  8. Diva says:

    Who doesn’t love mac & cheese?! Truth told, its my favorite food on earth … especially my mom’s recipe.

    I’ve never heard of cold-packed cheese? Is it similar to Velveeta, or is it more natural? I use sharp white cheddar in mine, because that how makes it.

    Dying to try MacBar!

  9. Shaslam says:

    I know it’s weird but my little kids like Mac and Cheese more so for the texture and smooth consistency than the cheddary taste–which is why I use 2 cups of marble (my mom is Italian–I’ve heard ALL the lectures!) I think I will try this for a more grown up version–I’ve never even seen cold packed cheddar. There’s something a little “Krafty” about the really orange colour of your picture?
    Does this cheese separate easily in a sauce if it’s blended with butter? I might use it in a cheese sauce for broccoli and cauliflower

  10. tara says:

    I never would have thought of using cold pack cheddar – something that is a favourite of my father’s. I’ll be sending this recipe his way and trying it for myself!

  11. Recipe Secrets…

    […]My mac and cheese secrets « Dana McCauley’s food blog[…]…

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