Mac ‘n’ cheese, macaroni cheese, cheesy pasta – these are the most common names for Kraft’s Macaroni and Cheese. In Canada, it is known and loved as the KD.
Canadians eat more Kraft macaroni and cheese than anyone else in the world. According to records, they consume about 55% more than Americans, who come in second to the largest mac’ n’ cheese consumers.
History of Mac and Cheese
Contrary to what we know, macaroni and cheese weren’t an original American recipe. The exact origin of macaroni and cheese isn’t known, but the earliest known modern recipe was found in Northern Europe, dated back to 1769.
Credits to Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president, who introduced this now staple dish to America. He discovered this dish while on diplomatic duties in France and brought it home. It was even served in an 1802 state dinner Jefferson hosted. (Source: Smithsonian)
The dish was only made available in a box during the Great Depression in 1937. Kraft Foods made mac and cheese quick and easy to make, and they made it cheap. Then, it was only 18 cents and could serve four individuals. Kraft Foods sold about 8 million boxes in its first year. (Source: Smithsonian)
The Unofficial National Food
The national food of Canada is poutine. However, mac and cheese is the defacto or unofficial national food recognized by many Canadians. The dish, commonly known as KD (for Kraft Dinner), has been the most popular meal Canadians have. Out of the 7 million Kraft mac and cheese boxes sold worldwide weekly, Canadians purchase 1.7 million of them. (Source: Food Network)
KD has been Canadian’s favorite dish simply because of its cost, taste, and preparation ease. Like Former Prime Minister Paul Martin and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, several well-known Canadians stated that KD was their favorite food. The Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies also referred to KD in their “If I Had $1000000,” saying they will continue to eat KD mac and cheese even if they were millionaires. (Source: Global News)
The dish reached new heights in demand due to Kraft’s pandemic to make changes in their Montreal plant. The plant, responsible for supplying all of Canada’s KD demand, is now working 24/7 to meet the additional 1 million KD boxes weekly demand to the already existing 1.5 million. (Source: CTV News)
Mac and Cheese Variations
While directions to cooking the famous dish are relatively straightforward, most Canadians ignore the instructions and believe that they have a unique way of preparing the food, like adding wieners or cheese. (Source: Financial Post)
However, some take their mac and cheese game to a whole new level. There’s the skillet mac and cheese, resembling a pizza. Various toppings are included in a regular mac and cheese, such as bacon, pepperoni, and even lobster. (Source: Brit)
Regardless of how it’s prepared, KD will always keep its place in the grocery lists of Canadians.