With its plastic pouch packaging, the Homestyle Deluxe line is easy to identify, and comes in three varieties: Classic Cheddar, Hearty Four Cheese, and Old World Italian. A cut of the pouch revealed dried macaroni, which is much wider and thicker than the blue box version; a "seasoning packet," which contains flour and occasional herbs; a cheese sauce; and a packet of breadcrumbs.
I boiled the pasta, then drained it, using the same pot to create a roux with butter and the seasoning packet. Then I added milk, the cheese sauce, and finally the pasta. I topped off the cheesy mess with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. All in all, it took about 30 minutes to prepare the three flavors side by side.
Classic Cheddar: I thought this would be my favorite based on the name, but it was bland — it was reminiscent of Kraft's original blue box, but with less sodium and flavor.
Hearty Four Cheese: This mix of parmesan, asiago, colby, and cheddar cheeses was my favorite. It looked exactly like the Classic Cheddar, and tasted similar, but the parmesan and asiago cheeses lent a salty sharpness that the cheddar lacked.
Old World Italian: The alfredo-like appearance of this pasta, which is made with parmesan and romano cheese, didn't sit well with a fellow taster. Still, I thought it possessed a nice gooeyness from monterey jack cheese and a subtle garlic flavor.
If I had one primary gripe, it would be the breadcrumbs, which permeated the cheeses with a taste of old, stale cardboard. The packages also include instructions for a special topping, which involves finishing off the casserole with a layer of breadcrumbs and shredded Kraft cheddar, but since I didn't have that extra ingredient, I passed on the last step. Overall, I think the additional steps render a much more positive Kraft pasta experience. Have you tried Homestyle Deluxe? If so, I'd love to hear what you thought, too.