Fork vs. Spoon: What’s the Right Way to Eat Mac & Cheese?

published Jul 17, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

We all know the best place for macaroni and cheese is in one’s mouth, but how we get it there is a matter of some debate. Do you use a fork or a spoon? The nation appears to be divided. There are YouTube videos and Reddit threads devoted to the “right” way to eat macaroni and cheese, and now cult-favorite brand Annie’s has conducted a nationwide survey to figure out what utensil people prefer to use when eating one of the most delicious dishes on the planet.

According to The Daily Meal, Annie’s commissioned the survey for National Macaroni and Cheese Day on July 14. Now the results are in, and the winner is #TeamFork by a landslide.

The survey asked 5,000 adults in the U.S. how they preferred to eat macaroni and cheese, and 71 percent of adults said they preferred to use a fork. Only 28 percent preferred to eat macaroni with a spoon. That only adds up to 99 percent because 1 percent of responders preferred to use something other than a fork or a spoon, and I think we need a follow-up survey (seriously, what do you use?!).

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I think spoons were robbed. The best part of macaroni and cheese is the cheese sauce. Nine times out of 10, when someone in the U.S. says the word “macaroni,” they’re talking about macaroni and cheese. You don’t even have to say the words “and cheese,” because if you’re talking about macaroni, everyone will just assume cheese is involved. And a spoon is definitely the best utensil for getting all the last bits of sauce off the sides of the bowl.

One of the most interesting things about this survey is that while 71 percent of adults prefer to eat their own macaroni with a fork, the vast majority of parents of children under 10 preferred to give their kids spoons to eat macaroni and cheese with. Spoons tend to be tidier, and they’re often more efficient at getting food into kids’ mouths than forks are. And if you give a small child a fork and a bowl of macaroni, there’s at least a 20-percent chance the kid will start spearing individual macaroni noodles onto the tines of the fork one at a time and eating them that way, and you will be watching them eat that bowl of macaroni for the next three hours.

As a result of the survey, however, Annie’s actually went and changed their box design. The old boxes had a picture of a heaping spoonful of macaroni and cheese at the center. But the new box has a fork. You win this round, #TeamFork.

How do you like to eat macaroni and cheese, with a spoon or a fork?