Lens on Processed Food: Spiraling your way into my heart

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This week I will be reviewing Chez Midwood, a foodie haven in the Region of Waterloo. When you enter Chez Midwood you are immediately overcome by the scent of processed cheese powder and Ketchup.


A glimpse of the stove reveals a pot of the good stuff: bubbly and delicious boxed macaroni and cheese, a Chez Midwood specialty. Depending on what was on sale at the local grocer, the nightly special varies. On a special occasion, Annie’s organic is on the menu. Tonight however, is one of my favourites: spiral shaped Kraft Dinner.


From my table I can hear the water boiling and the pasta being poured, the spiral shapes becoming nestled in a bath of sweltering liquid. Soon the tendrils will be soft, yet firm…my preferred noodle texture. The perfect pasta consistency is always delivered at Chez Midwood.


I wait patiently at my table, breathing in the refreshing scent of noodle water. The décor is unique, hospital-like fluorescent lighting, vintage furniture with rustic tears in the fabric, and a light sprinkling of dust.


When the cooked spirals are released from their metal pot and into a strainer, the steam creates a mystical pattern on the window above the sink. If you’re lucky, you can find someone to read you your fortune in the condensation.


Suddenly my attention is brought back to the pot: cloud-coloured one per cent milk splashes in and begins to simmer. Without hesitation the chalky cheese powder follows and the two are married by a whisk, creating a dairy product unlike any other.


My anticipation grows exponentially, I can barely stay seated.


An expert chef then pieces all the parts together, like a master mechanic. The tiny spirals bounce into the cheesy milk below and suddenly, heaven is a place on earth.


My order is placed in front of me, filling my nostrils with my favourite scent. I add a dash of pepper but ignore the Ketchup in front of my bowl—Ketchup on Kraft Dinner is blasphemy.


I dive my fork in and spear a few tendrils. The hot milky cheesy creation is like no other. Soft and supple on my tongue, the spirals are the perfect vessel for the cheesy milk. 


This meal requires no other components. They would simply tarnish the delicious processed flavour.


Though many varieties of boxed macaroni and cheese have made their way onto the menu at Chez Midwood, none can truly compare to the mouthwatering taste and texture of Kraft Dinner Spirals.
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