“ Type: Rice „
I looked at the ratings below for this macaroni cheese and started wondering if my taste-buds are defective because my rating is so different from most! Hopefully it's just that they've changed the formulation, ahem...
I'll start by saying I don't eat tinned macaroni cheese on a regular basis and do try to cook 'properly' as much as possible - but as most people will probably agree, it is useful to have a few emergency supplies in your store cupboard for those evenings when you get in late and are too tired to do anything but open a tin. Actually, I'd never had macaroni cheese out of a tin until a few months ago when I tried a well-known brand's version. I found this acceptable in the taste department, but decided to shift down a level and try the supermarket's own version. After not having noticed a major difference between the two, I down-shifted a bit further and went for the bargain-basement Asda Smart Price version.
As of March 2012, this is priced at 40p for a 395g tin (for the sake of comparison, Asda's regular macaroni cheese is 63p for the same size tin - not a major difference unless you're really watching the pennies. But still, better in my pocket than in theirs, I always say!). The tin is wrapped in the usual Smart Price label (it's changed from that shown above), white with green writing. The label gives us cooking (!) instructions - it can either be heated in a saucepan or in a microwave - as well as nutritional information and ingredients and advises us that the product is free from artificial colours, flavours and hydrogenated fat and is also suitable for vegetarians , and that it is packaged in a tin (errr... thanks, Asda!).
I'm not claiming this is health food, but a comparison of nutritional values per 100g with the regular Asda version shows a slightly lower level of fat and calories in the Smart Price product, although it does have a touch more salt. Having compared it to other brands, the Smart Price product seems to come off as consistently better with regards to nutritional values. (The fun I've had comparing...!).
The most important part of any food review is whether it's actually edible, so let's get to the nitty-gritty. Yes, it is edible in my view and goes down very well with a bit of brown sauce and even some tuna mixed in. In fact, it's become a bit of a guilty pleasure for me! The sauce is maybe slightly runnier than 'higher end' brands, but not excessively so, and the pasta to sauce ratio is very acceptable. The pasta itself is the texture you have to expect with tinned pasta products (think spaghetti hoops etc.). All in all, an easy to eat, reasonable tasting, well-priced convenience food for lazy mealtimes!
Although Macaroni on Toast isn't perhaps as good as Spaghetti or Beans, it is a nice change and pretty filling.
Wanting to save a few pennies we have been trying a few cheaper brands, and we find that Tesco and Asda budget brands are working out quite good. Yes, the packaging isn't that exciting, but who cares that much about that?
This is in a 400g tin and I think it only cost us 23p. There is no ring pull so I had to dig the tin opener out, but considering I saved about 60p buying this one over Heinz, then a small price to pay.
When I opened this I could see a good amount of Sauce. It was a light yellow colour and I could see the odd bit Pasta sticking through the Sauce. The Sauce seemed a bit runnier than Heinz, but I was expecting that anyway.
Once cooked the Sauce got a bit runnier, but it still coated the PAsta well enough. The Pasta bits were large enough, soft and a bit floppy. The Sauce did taste Cheesy, but there was a slight bitter aftertaste and it didn't taste as Cheesy as what I was used to.
This was a good budget buy and 1 I would buy again. I'm not saying it is the best and nicest Macaroni, but good enough for what it is!
I enjoy macaroni cheese and sometimes make my own from scratch for an evening meal but as it is too time consuming to make for lunch I thought I would try the asda smart price version as a quick lunchtime meal. It was well priced, unlike the branded versions which cost far more than I was prepared to pay for a lunchtime snack.
The consistency of the product is rather like macaroni in thick glue and the smell would also suggest glue..... Certainly not much evidence of cheese. I heated it in the microwave, which took longer than suggest on the label. When I tasted it it really was rather unpleasant and certainly nothing like cheese, although the macaroni itself was a pleasant texture.
I added lots of grated cheese and stirred it all up well until it had melted. It then tasted quite nice and make a good filling lunch with a couple of slices of bread and butter. However, as cheese is quite expensive it did turn a rather cheap meal into a not so cheap meal as I did need to use rather a lot of cheese to disguise the initial taste. It was proabably still cheaper than branded macaroni cheese though.
I do still buy this occasionaly as it makes a quick filling lunch. I would advise not smelling it at all and adding a generous amount of cheese unless you have no taste buds.
I thought I would add my own comment to the rest about Asda's smart price macaroni cheese.
I always enjoy a bowl of heinz macaroni cheese for lunch however I noticed it costs quite alot more than the smart price version and every penny counts when on a low budget. With this in mind I decided to try Asda's version in the hope to save those pennies.
At first when I opened the tin I got a whiff of not cheese but something similar to cheap custard. However, despite this I poured it into the pan (or more like scraped it out) and heated it for a few minutes. While it was heating the colour became even less appetising and the smell was really quite unpleasant. Once again though I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and at least taste it before judging it.
Unfortunately though after a few mouthfuls I had to scrape the wobbling squishy pasta into the bin. The texture was too soft and squidgy and the sauce did not taste of cheese at all. I found the sauce to actually taste and feel quite powdery which is strange and unpleasant. To make things worse with every mouthful also came the smell. On the tin it said "improved recipe" so I shudder to think what the previous recipe tasted like.
Overall I did not enjoy it at all and certainly would not be buying it again. This is a shame as some other smart price products can be quite nice but this really lets the side down.
It's mad but in the last month we've been to Asda twice and my mum has brought some of the Smart Price cheap items because she heard they were usually very good. She did brilliant on the first shop and loads of stuff she brought was wicked, but this second shop has had a proper nasty selection of Smart Price in it!
The macaroni cheese she brought was one of the worst thing I've ever tasted. The cheese sauce didn't taste like cheese at all and was just wet and sticky, if there's any cheese in it then it's deffo very mild cheddar if it's cheddar at all!
The macaroni has got a horrible texture, it's sloppy and slimey and the sauce sticks to it like glue. I've never been mad keen for tinned macaroni cheese but there are a couple of the brands that I might eat if it's in the cupboard. If this stuff was in the cupboard and there was no other food available I'd rather go hungry than eat it again.
It's that bad, it smells horribley milky and the sauce stuck to the roof of my mouth while I was eating it. I could taste how artificial this macaroni cheese was and I'm not comparing it to a yummy home made one but this one tasted more artificial than any other macaroni cheese I've had.
It comes in a green and white tin now and I'm only telling you this so you know to avoid it. There's no blander macaroni cheese available, I think Asda lost the salt and pepper pot when they created this and even when I added my own seasoning it didn't make a lot of difference because the macaroni is so madly dull.
It might only be 29p but it's 29p wasted if you chuck the whole lot in the bin after 2 mouthfuls!
I really do enjoy macaroni cheese but to be honest I'm far too much of a lazy article to make it up from scratch for myself so from time to time I'll treat myself to a can of it! Today I saw this in my local Asda today and decided at 39p a can I was definitely having it tonight for my tea!
410g can with a white and green label around the middle of it and on that there is a photograph of a bowl of the macaroni cheese and then I'm told it is Asda 'Smart Price' Macaroni Cheese 'Macaroni Pasta Tubes In A Cheese Sauce' and finally I'm told it has an improved recipe. On the back of the can I'm told the ingredients and given allergy advice and nutritional information, storage and heating instructions are given, size is stated, contact details for Asda are given and finally there is a bar-code on there. Simple but informative can this is and for me the only thing missing that would of been a handy additive was a ring pull but hey ho, it's cheap! lol.
Me Eating It....
Well this could be eaten cold I'm sure if you really wanted to (as it is already cooked through) however for best results we're advised to cook it and to do that it cooks in a saucepan in 4-5 minutes or in a microwave (my preffered option always lol) in about 3 minutes.
So when I opened the can up, it was full of pasta and a bright yellow sauce and giving off a slight cheese smell to it. It appeared of good consistency and I found heating it through to be a really simple process.
Once cooked I plopped it on my toast. Not only was I surprised by the amount of food you get for 39p I was impressed by it's appearance too. Lots of creamy coloured plain and smooth pasta tubes that were quite large and held very well and lots of a slightly paler yellow coloured sauce (since cooking it).
The sauce clung to the tubes, looked glossy and and rather thick though not stodgy and/or gloopy and it all had a nice cheese aroma to it too.
Taste wise this was ok. it actually appeared better than it tasted.... however it was still nice enough. I found the pasta to be very well cooked but a bit tasteless really like i hadn't been seasoned and it doesn't take Einstein to work out they never used the best pasta in this of course. The cheese sauce although it did taste somewhat of cheese was rather sweet and the more I ate of it the more I felt it got sweeter and a bit overpowering. However like I say it was well cooked and of decent quality overall.
Not the nicest pasta out of a can I've ever tasted but it is ok and does offer very good value for money. I do recommend this to try and of course you can add cheese to it if you feel adventurous etc!
Contains gluten, milk, wheat and mustard.
Nutritional Information... Per 1/2 Can....
of which sugars: 2.1g
of which saturates: 1.2g
equivalent as salt: 1.4g
Only available in Asda stores.
I love Macaroni Cheese and will either just eat a bowl of it on it's own, or tip it over 2 slices of toast and eat it that way.
This is part of the Asda budget range, called Smart Price. This is the cheapest range in Asda, and I have to say some of the things I buy from Asda are all Smart price, as i've been impressed by the product.
The packaging isn't very exciting, but that's probably why it is cheaper than the other brands. It is a tin. It doesn't have a ring pull, so you have to open this with a tin opener. There is a white label wrapped around the tin and the only colour on here is red. The product writing is in yellow though, probably to symbolise the Cheese.
Now to the important part - the taste and product. The Cheese sauce is quite thick in here, but certainly not as thick as Heinz Macaroni. The Pasta in here is quite thick, fat shapes, and I think it is an alright size. I wouldn't say the texture is bad, but with canned Pasta it can feel slightly rubbery, but it doesn't taste that rubbery with the Cheese sauce. The sauce is a light yellow colour and although you can taste the Cheese in here, it is not thick and cheddary. The taste is more subtle, but I quite like that anyway. You can always grate cheese and put it on top while it is hot, and it will melt into it and make it Cheesy-er.
Easy to cook. Either dump in a pan and simmer on the hob, or put in a bowl and microwave. This takes approx 4 minutes to cook and I stir it while cooking, as you can see the sauce bubbling at the sides, so you don't want the sauce to stick to the pan and perhaps burn.
This 400g tin only costs 37p, which is a lot cheaper than the main brand name, and a bit cheaper than the Supermarket own brand, which is the brand above. So this is a good choice if you are budget concious.
Would I buy this again? Yes I would. I'm not going to say that it is the best Macaroni Cheese i've had, but for the price I think this does extremely well.
As much as the idea of overcooked pasta, being coated with a thick cheesy, overly sickly rich creamy gloopy sauce, makes me want to wretch. I find an almost overwhelming compassion to buy this horrible item when I come across it in the supermarkets.
Now don't get me wrong, I could make real Macaroni cheese from fresh. It's not exactly classic Italian, but it would be a tasty snack, made fresh.
This product however, is not about freshness, or being authentic. It's just an easy snack, and a staple item of our food cupboard when we were students.
It is purchased (these days) for those moments when we want a quick an easy filling snack, and just can't be bothered to do anything other than open a tin, heat, and eat.
I am not going to pretend to you, that this tastes great!
Because it doesn't!
No really it doesn't.
Its quite unpleasant.
But, there is a small saving grace, because its the Asda Smartprice range it costs literally pennies. There is little point in paying for a premium version of this gloop, as not really surprisngly, there is not much to choose from taste wise between the cheapy versions and the branded items. Don't believe me, try it.
It is however Macaroni cheese!!!!
A staple, cheap sustaining food from our college days, and just like things were supposedly better back then, this item brings back fond memories of "ye olde" days gone past.
An so it is with great reverance, that we feed on this feast of gloopy cheesy mess, while drinking tins of white lightening (also available as a smartprice item) and think about the good old days.
C'est la vie!
Today I found myself once again in Asda. I swear I spend about 10% of my time in that place, as I now know it like the back of my hand and know where all my favourite foods are. Something that I do to make my journeys more exciting is by looking for exceedingly cheap food and buying it, partly so that I can review it for a profit, but also so that if I find something cheap that tastes great, I can buy lots of it the next time that I come and get more food for my money. Anyway, today's choice of new cheap foodstuff was a tin of Asda's Smartprice Macaroni Cheese.
The tin looks almost identical to all other tins of Asda Smartprice foods: a mainly white tin with a large green strip at the bottom, with the name of the food on the front with a small picture, and nutritional information and ingredients on the back. It looks very minimalist, but since it's a Smartprice product, I don't mind a lack of exciting packaging, as a more sophisticated tin would up the price, and the main reason for me purchasing this product is the fact that it is cheap. It was enough to catch my eye anyway (as I look out for the Smartprice items, with the excuse that I'm a student) so the packaging did its job.
But anyway, the appearance of the tin is obviously not the important thing in a food product, as even if the packaging was a work of art, I still wouldn't buy it if it tasted terrible. Fortunately, Asda Smartprice Macaroni Cheese doesn't taste terrible, and in fact, it doesn't taste bad at all. I prepared it by heating it in a pan on the hob, and served it once it looked as though it was about to start bubbling, and when I touched it, it was boiling hot. I had a small taste of it, and while the cheesy sauce didn't taste bad, it had a strange sort of rice puddingy flavour to it, which I thought was a bit odd in a savoury food. I decided to add a couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce to it as well as a sprinkling of ground oregano (as I do to many of my meals) and then tasted it again. Luckily, this improved the taste significantly, and I did enjoy the rest of my meal.
So after eating this macaroni cheese, would I buy it again? The answer is: probably no. It wasn't bad, and at only 39p it's an absolute bargain, but I don't think that it is worth it. It's only 300 calories for a tin (or 360 according to my supermarket.com, but I'm sure I'm right), so it's not bad even if you're on a diet, but since it's essentially just fat and carbs, it's in no way healthy. Also, since I had to add a couple of ingredients of my own to make it enjoyable, it's not brilliant if you want a total hassle free snack. I've also tried another type of tinned pasta from the Smartprice range (spaghetti in tomato sauce) which I thought was much better value than the macaroni cheese, and in fact tastes a lot better, so I think I'll continue to buy this instead. I'll also review it at a later date, which should help to pay for a couple of tins too.
In conclusion, this isn't a bad choice for a meal, especially if you're watching the pennies, but isn't something that I'd be buying again in a hurry, as I know that there are some much better quality and cheaper things out there.