Annie's sent me two of their gluten free Macs, their new Gluten Free Microwavable Rice Pasta and Cheddar Mac and their Gluten Free Rice Shells and Creamy White Cheddar Mac. So, how do they face off against each other?
The Microwavable Mac had the perfect amount of cheddar flavoring, yet to me it was a bit too salty for my tastes. In my first time around making it the cheese was stringy and gel like, however adding a bit more water the second time fixed that problem. I found that while it had a good cheddar flavor it wasn't a thick enough sauce. So, ultimately it's a good quick snack but not anything spectacular.
The Rice Shells and Creamy White Cheddar Mac was a good change from some of the other intensely cheddery (I am surprised that isn't a word...) mac and cheeses. The fact that the pasta was shell shaped, and not tube shaped like many other gluten free macs was a good change. However, the overall texture was a bit grainy and I felt the need to add some seasoning to the Mac to add a bit of dimension. Overall though it was a simple meal with just the right amount of cheese sauce and creaminess.
So, which one is the winner? I would personally say the Rice Shells and Creamy White Cheddar. It was more thickly coated, less salty, and although grainy it was creamier. In reality, it probably isn't fair to compare a microwavable mac with a traditional stove top one, but it makes for good discussion.
I would certainly purchase either again, and thank Annie's for the opportunity to try their products!