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The Color of Comfort


Food’s almost a drug to me. I eat in restaurants compulsively, sometimes three times a day. I have an urge to discover. And even though I’m not a chef, I cook all the time, assisted by my two favorite helpers, ages 8 and 14. My record: 12 courses for 75 people. I talk about food like some talk about the Stanley Cup playoffs. I’ve even been known to give out recipes to strangers. But from time to time, I make a mean batch of Kraft Dinner (known in the USA as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese), just because it makes me feel good. Were it any other processed “food” item, it wouldn’t even enter my home. I’d rant about how the quality of food keeps declining in modern society. I’d worry about the demise of our civilization. But Kraft Dinner is clearly in its own category. A category in which social differences don’t apply. If we tried to figure out what the true, the ultimate comfort meal is in America, odds are many would say Kraft Dinner. For about two dollars, it feeds two adults or four children. Ok, it’s not exactly a 3 course veggie lover’s meal, but that’s not the point here. More importantly, KD is orange! Well, yellow actually. Yellows #6 and #7. A color that pleases children, and most adults. Seven million boxes of KD are sold every week on the planet:students on a low budget, low-income families, good responsible dads who want to wow their kids, people in a rush or looking back at their childhood with nostalgia… KD is eaten with love by millions of people every day. But why? Why Kraft Dinner and not something else? And why do I still love it so much? This film is a quest to answer these questions. It retraces the history of Kraft Dinner. From the very first box made a few months before the declaration of the Second World War to the 350,000,000 boxes sold worldwide each year, what has made the success of the orange textureless dish? We meet with anthropologists, world-renowned chefs, food critics, families, grocers, financial analysts and even kids in the hope of understanding how Kraft Dinner has become way more than just food. We perform a taste-test with an entire elementary school to see if kids choose gourmet mac and cheese over KD. We find the family of the St-Louis travelling salesman who gave his recipe to Canadian food preservation enthusiast James L. Kraft. We fly to Italy to discuss the origin of macaroni. We retrace the pre-war events that led to KD’s phenomenal success, and discover why Kraft’s marketing strategy is still studied to this day. We dig up the first mac & cheese recipe dating back to the year 1570 and actually make it with a San Francisco food historian obsessed with noodles. And we enter a 13-minute face off with chef and food scientist Kenji Lopez-Alt, opposing a home cooked healthy version of KD to the good old one in the blue and yellow cardboard box. We dig deep to figure out why, tonight again, chances are high that we’ll be turning to Yellow #6 once again. Kraft Dinner, anyone?



format & language

Feature documentary
1 hour
English, French
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