Review (x4): Campbell’s CheeseburgerOs, Chef Boyardee Cheesy Burger Macaroni, Campbell’s Chunky Philly-Style Cheesesteak Soup, Maruchan Cheddar Cheese Instant Lunch & The Nosh Show Episode 11!
Junk Food Nation, it’s Monday Monday Monday. I, like many people, watched the VMAs last night. You know, even though I know I’m rapidly aging, I was worried watching Miley Cyrus’ performance last night. I was like, “Man, do you think kids think this is a good performance? Am I just so old and jaded that I think this trainwreck is awful, but maybe in actuality, people are digging it?” But noooooooooooooooooope – woke up this morning, and it was a CONSENSUS among news, bloggers, entertainment people – what I thought was a disaster, WAS a disaster. Phew. Not too much of a grandpa yet, over here.
Monday also means THE NOSH SHOW EPISODE 11 IS OUT:
This week, “In this episode, Dubba goes crazy over Taco Bell Dessert Kits, Marvo admits he’s a Yoplait Pumpkin Spice yogurt hater, Ryan won’t eat grapes that don’t taste like grapes, Eric eats chocolate that pops, and they all try SpaghettiOs CheeseburgerOs.”
To stay on top of The Nosh Show, you can subscribe to The Nosh Show on iTunes. Or if you don’t use iTunes, you can use this link to subscribe using your podcast player of choice. You can also follow The Nosh Show on its own blog, Twitter, and Facebook page. OR just listen to it, embedded above!
That’s right – on the Nosh Show, we ALL tried the new Campbell’s CheeseburgerOs, and gave a live review. And that inspired me to write today’s review, in which I compared a whole LINE of products that all feature cheese in one fashion or another, probably where it SHOULDN’T be featured.
Presenting my reviews of: Campbell’s CheeseburgerOs, Chef Boyardee Cheesy Burger Macaroni, Campbell’s Chunky Philly-Style Cheesesteak, and Maruchan Cheddar Cheese Instant Lunch!
Each of these products sort of scares me. Cheeseburger-flavored SpaghettiOs? A Cheesy Burger Macaroni competitor? Philly Cheesesteak …in soup form? And Cheddar Cheese Ramen noodles???? YIKES.
First up: Campbell’s CheeseburgerOs!
I’ll note that I see listed in the ingredients: mustard, beef tallow, and soy sauce. What the eff is this going to taste like?
That is an unholy orange color.
This is mostly repeating what was said on the episode, but these Campbell’s CheeseburgerOs smelled like SpaghettiOs. They did have a slight cheesy aroma, but not enough for me to say they smelled like Cheeseburgers. The consistency was mushy, like SpaghettiOs are. And, these TASTED like SpaghettiOs – tangy tomato-ey sauce, soft noodles, with some slight beefy flavor.
The sweet sauce, as I tasted it more, did have hints of a sour aftertaste, presumably the mustard. It was sort of…pickle-y tasting. The bits of beef were dry, rubbery, spongy. The sauce was tangy. WHY SO TANGY? Ugh. Definitely tasted artificial, and made me wonder how I was able to stomach this stuff as a kid.
With each bite, I thought, “This is not good.” Junk Food Gal commented, “It smells like a dirty foot in here.” Yup.
Next up: Chef Boyardee Cheesy Burger Macaroni!
At least this can didn’t contain mustard. Wait…is that a good thing?
Wait, Boiardi became Boyardee? That’s offensive.
Why…why was this not red, or orange, but rather brown?
I had high hopes for this Chef Boyardee Cheesy Burger Macaroni after the CheeseburgerOs experience…but I have to be honest, this one was even worse. I know. I know.
The pot smelled like normal Chef Boyardee canned stuff – sweet tomato sauce. The pasta was more substantial than the CheeseburgerOs, and it SMELLED sort of cheesy…despite the brown look. But after a bite, the REAL problem was a substantial LACK of flavor. While the CheeseburgerOs were too tangy, this pasta had NO tomato taste at all. I GUESS that’s a good thing – so it didn’t taste like red sauce pasta, but it really didn’t taste like anything else either. The soft noodles were ultra processed, and the meat was spongy. Worse yet, the meat didn’t really have much beef flavor. It sort of tasted like overcooked beef that ground apart like sand between my teeth.
There was no saltiness (despite how much sodium was in the can) and no “cheesy burger” flavor to my mouth. I guess one positive is that the whole spoonful was comfortably squishy and easy to swallow – but besides that, this was a FLOP. Avoid.
Third up (groan): Campbell’s Chunky Philly-Style Cheesesteak Soup!
I opened the can and took a big sniff – after the initial gag (sorry), I focused and sniffed more carefully, and had to admit – it did smell like a cheesesteak! I got that cheese mixed with onion and pepper smell.
And I want to set the record straight – I actually LIKE some of Campbell’s Chunky line. Clam chowder. Chicken corn chowder. I LIKE that processed soup! So I’m going into this one with an open mind. Sort of.
Campbell’s Chunky Philly-Style Cheesesteak was basically a cheese soup base, not a chowder base, and as a result, I was weirded out from the start. Look, some people love cheese soups; I am not one of them. But I plowed ahead.
The cheese soup smelled like a cheese fondue base, basically, which again, I am not a fan of. The spoonful I ate had a provolone-like cheesy brightness to it. Honestly, it DID sort of remind me of a Cheez-Whiz soup with some provolone mixed in. The beef was chewy and had some general beefy flavor – not the most appetizing. The potato was fine. Overall, the soup was NOT my favorite. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a solid 3.
I can’t believe the CheeseburgerOs are looking like the best of the bunch so far! What the eff.
Last up (shudder) —- Maruchan Cheddar Cheese Instant Lunch!
Holy cow, this is one funky looking Cup-O-Noodles brick. But amazingly – the tub smelled like Nacho Cheese Doritos!!!!! WHAAAAA?????
After adding water, I swear to God, the tub now smelled like buttery microwaved popcorn. The Junk Food Gal agreed. We were perplexed.
Ok, after mixing EVERYTHING up, now it smelled like cheese popcorn!!!! My mind was exploding. As you can see from the photo, there were no dehydrated veggies or anything like you’d see in other Ramen Soup Cups. Plus, these were flat noodles, almost like a pad thai noodle. Time to dig in!
Ok, I’ll just say it: This Maruchan Cheddar Cheese Instant Lunch tasted…..ok. I KNOW. IT TASTED OK. My mind was spinning as I tried to find a flaw, but I couldn’t. Now, it wasn’t GOOD, and I’d rather eat a ton of other things, but as soon as I took my first bite, I knew this was the best tasting of the four things I’d tried. Amazingly.
Basically, the noodles were standard rehydrated noodles that didn’t hold much of the soup when I ate them. When I ate the noodles, the soup that stuck to them basically tasted like a creamy chicken soup base….maybe the creaminess was the “cheddar cheese” part of it? That was my first thought. Had some onion-y flavor…but seemed barely cheesy except for the creaminess.
But then I decided to drink the soup by itself…and THERE was the cheesy flavor. In fact, I will announce: THIS TASTED LIKE I WAS DRINKING NACHO CHEESE DORITOS, I SH*T YOU NOT. It basically had all the flavors you KNOW from Doritos! Cheese, onion, a bit of paprika…IT WAS ALL THERE! Salty as hell. and coated my tongue with a weird oiliness. BUT YES. LIQUID DORITOS.
So yeah, this Instant Lunch didn’t taste BAD per se, but it definitely scared me.
To give a ranking, I’d go 1) Cheddar Cheese Maruchan, 2) (I can’t believe this) CheeseburgerOs, 3) Philly Cheesesteak Soup, and 4) Cheesy Burger Macaroni. Sorry, Chef Boiard1.
PURCHASED AT: Super Walmart
COST: Chunky Soup was $1.50. CheesburgerOs and Cheesy Burger Macaroni were each $0.98 cents. And the Maruchan…a whopping $0.28 cents!
Junk Food Guy