Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thing 285 Mac and Cheese

Ah yes... American stuff and junk. It says Mac and Cheese in the title box, but don't let that be the limit of your disgust, I also had a first in the peanut-butter covered M&M's that Lady Awesome Mermaid Elegance brought back from the United States. Oh sure, it sounds innocuous enough now - but once you've bitten into that part chocolate, part salt snack you just know that regular peanut M&M's are now ruined for you forever... plus, chocolate and salt. Eugh.

American culture, as previously discussed, pretty much wormed its way into Irish culture over two decades or so. No bad thing really, in small doses. I'll never for the life of me understand the Irish teenagers having American twangs to their accents, nor will it ever be acceptable to me to see Irish people mimic our cousins from across the big pond in terms of their clothes (I'm looking at you, wanna-be-gangster-rappers) or in terms of their attitudes (I'm pointing the finger at you girls-who-think-they're-cheerleaders).

But as I say, it's not really a bad thing. Mixing of cultures is good for us in general. Broadens the mind.
The weird bit of it for me is just how much of the American culture we're aware of, but have almost nothing in common with. Example: Superbowl Sunday. We know it exists, and for one day a year, every Irish person from Malin to Mizen pretends like they know something about American Football, but we really don't. I'd be amazed if there was more than a handful of people all over the country who could name the entire "playing roster" for either one of the Superbowl teams. Yet we pack into pubs in shocking numbers to take part in a little slice of Americana.

Mac and cheese is another one. A staple of American (and even Canadian) diets, this meal of pasta and *shudder* powdered cheese has been a favourite with the North Americans for some time. It's not widely eaten here, yet for some reason we know all about it. The chap who plays Booth in the TV show Bones is mad for Mac and Cheese (I watch Bones. So what. Don't look at me like that).
LAME went off the US of A and returned with these small pieces of America for me to consume. I should have started with dinner, and moved on to the horrendous dessert already mentioned, but I didn't, because I like being unconventional and I can't ignore sweets for longer than twenty minutes. Having eaten the M&M's I figured I was in for a bad day...

Powdered cheese? I mean, really. Cheese that you have to add milk and butter to, before it takes on the properties of a thick cream which the package assures me, is in fact, cheese. At what point was that ever going to be tasty. My favourite bit was reading the package that said the meal was pure organic but had a use-by date that was somewhere in the year 2036. Apparently mac and cheese, cockroaches (which we don't have either) and twinkies (it's just a who's who list of American things) are the only items guaranteed to survive a nuclear holocaust.

Tommy Tiernan made the joke about the American obsession with cheese, and maybe it's that obsession which drives the popularity of this disgusting and tasteless meal, because I can't think of any other reason.
If my American cousins and friends are reading this, and I hope you are, please explain this Mac and Cheese thing to me, because I'm at a complete loss. But, because I feel like I've been giving out way too much about all things American, I'd like to leave you with a list of the awesomeness which you've given us:

Baseball. Top notch television shows. Oprah. The concept of pizza delivery. The vast majority of the world's greatest comic books. Star Wars. Zooey Deschanel and personal computers. You guys are pretty cool. Thanks for that stuff.


  1. Im sure the Canuck will agree with me here... you have to try the Kraft Dinner mac and cheese, Dan!! it's unreal... I'd live off the stuff!! Mmm... splash on a dollop of ketchup and you're good to go!
    Buckles :)

  2. Aw, our stuff isn't that bad! But Anonymous is right-- the Kraft Mac N Cheese is pretty awesome. And Annie's. If you ever have anyone coming over to the States again, have them pick that up. :]
    (and btw, Oprah is evil. She is solely responsible for making the town that I live in a tourist trap. :[