BOSTON (CBS) – Phantom recently purchased four boxes of frozen mac and cheese from a local supermarket.
The creamy contenders were Banquet, Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Stouffer’s.
So which brand ended up at the top of the food chain?
Lean Cuisine finished in last place. After a few minutes in the microwave, Phantom actually had high hopes for this competitor thanks to its bright, thick cheese sauce.
Unfortunately this stuff was all looks and no substance. The sauce was completely flavorless, and the pasta was a mushy mess, combining for a very disappointing dinner.
Next up was Smart Ones. Straight out of the box, this recipe looked like it skimped on the sauce, but after cooking, there seemed to be enough to go around.
Problem is, that wasn’t necessarily a good thing as this was another competitor serving up some weak sauce. Although it’s made with cheddar, asiago, and Romano, all Phantom could really taste was salt and pepper.
On the upside, the elbow macaroni was thick and hearty, giving this meal some semblance of substance.
The runner up is Banquet. This bargain brand rings up at about half the price of the other competitors, but still delivers a wide, shallow tray filled with a generous pool of sauce. Each forkful of elbows had Phantom’s taste buds doing a double take, as this stuff tastes almost identical to his favorite boxed mac and cheese brand. With a kid friendly smooth and tangy cheddar cheese flavor, banquet would definitely make for an enjoyable after school snack.
At the top of the food chain is Stouffer’s. This deep dense tray is packed with more product than the other brands, and offers up a thick sauce that really clings to each and every elbow.
There’s an authentic cheddar taste here that is usually found only in homemade recipes, making this microwave meal a hearty eating experience.
That’s why Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese is at the top of the food chain.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.