Kraft Macaroni And Cheese Goes By A Different Name In Canada

Few meals are easier to whip up or more fun to eat than a piping hot bowl of mac and cheese. If you're going for store-bought, one of the most iconic, nostalgic brands of the bright yellow pasta delight is Kraft. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of devouring Kraft Macaroni & Cheese can attest to the fact that even though the powdered cheese element is a bit of a mystery, the end result is a creamy, delicious, heartwarming, saucy delight when mixed with hot water (or optional butter and milk).

Kraft mac and cheese is an affordable yet filling meal that hit American grocery store shelves back in 1937, according to Insider. It was an instant success, as nearly 9 million boxes were sold during its first year on the market. The simplicity of the recipe makes it appealing to consumers of all walks of life, including kids and adults from a wide range of backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, not to mention culinary skills. But U.S. residents aren't the only ones who love the neon-colored pasta. In fact, the treasured product is even more popular in Canada, where it goes by a slightly different name.

What do Canadians call the famous pasta product?

Our northern neighbors march to the beat of their own drums in many ways, at least when it comes to what they call certain things. For instance, sleds are known as toboggans, faucets are taps, napkins are serviettes, and cigarettes are darts, according to Slice. And when it comes to one of the greatest food inventions of all time, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Canadians have a hankering for what they instead call Kraft Dinner (or KD for short). Actually, the yellow stuff is the country's unofficial national dish, according to Kraft's Canadian website. (Don't worry, poutine. You're still the reigning champion of this title.)

In fact, Canadians eat at least 55% more Kraft Dinner than Americans, and they purchase more than 1.7 million packages of the total 7 million sold worldwide per week, according to Eat North. The boxed mac and cheese was originally called "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner" in Canada, but it was eventually abbreviated to "Kraft Dinner," followed by "KD" in 2015, reports CBC Canada.

How are Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Kraft Dinner different?

So, is there a real difference between Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and KD, other than the names and box designs? Canadian vlogger Joseph DeBenedictis and his friend Jason, who lives in the U.S., filmed a YouTube video in which they tasted the two varieties while blindfolded. The experiment resulted in some interesting discoveries.

As it turns out, the American version calls for 6 cups of boiling water, 4 tablespoons of margarine or butter, and ¼ cup of milk. The Canadian version, however, requires the same amount of water but only 1 tablespoon of non-hydrogenated margarine and ⅓ cup of skim milk. Due to these recipes, an entire box of prepared Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is 1,080 calories while KD contains 960 calories per box. KD also lists far fewer ingredients in its nutrition facts: pasta from wheat, salt, butter, natural flavors, paprika, turmeric, annatto, citric acid, and sodium phosphates. (This part likely has to do with the legal requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.)

As for the flavor, both testers thought the American version had a richer, creamier consistency and a smoother, "less fake" taste and smell — to both of their surprise. At the end of the day, no matter where in North America you live, the legendary cheesy pasta makes an amazing comfort meal that always hits the spot (especially with extra butter).