I personally avoid process cheese generally, but only because there is so much available in terms of excellent cheeses and not because i actually dislike it. My main go to cheese has always been cheddar.
However, there is one processed cheese product that can be made into some thing surprising. That is Velveeta. We may even have developed this when i was a kid on the farm though i do think that there was a Kraft recipe to start with that possibly included other things.
What you do is saute some finely chopped onions in a skillet with a bit of butter. Once golden you add a cup of water. When simmering you add chopped up Velveeta to produce a smooth cheese sauce. About two - three inches of a large package. STOP there! Nothing else improves this.
You now have your go to spaghetti or pasta sauce that always beats out every other type.
This is a good item on history and the like.
An apricot-hued emblem of early 20th-century food manufacturing innovation (see also: cereal, breakfast; coffee, instant; bread, sliced), American cheese in general was originally seen as a convenient and nutritious household staple. As tastes have changed, the humble slice has been maligned as an example of the blandness of the American palate, as well as evidence that our food is nothing more than chemical-filled simulacra.
Still, nothing melts quite like that orange deli staple, whether draped over a burger patty or layered between two slices of white bread and toasted to perfection. American cheese has many defenders,
1.6%: Decline in processed cheese sales in 2018
>30: Time in seconds that cheese food must be heated to a temperature of 150°F (65.5°C) or above to be considered “pasteurized process cheese food” by the FDA
No less than 47%: Amount of cheese a product must contain to bear the label “Pasteurized Process Cheese,” according to the FDA
349,000: Metric tons of cheese the US exported in 2018
805 million: Pounds of surplus cheese in cold storage in the US as of January 2019
The history of American cheese
It's all in the emulsion
Would you like extra cheese with that?
Have a friend who would enjoy our Obsession with American cheese?
“[I]f I had to pick one cheese to stock in my burger joint, you’re damn right it’s gonna be American. No other cheese in the world can touch its meltability or goo factor.”
Queue up for queso
- The famous Ro-Tel recipe, made with Velveeta, a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, and a microwave, is a modern classic.
- Another variation, made with more deluxe sandwich slices, combines 10 slices of American cheese, a half cup of milk, and a can of green chilis, heated slowly in a pan until smooth and dippable. Just add chips.
- To keep it historical, check out Lady Bird Johnson’s 1976 recipe for chile con queso, first published in the San Antonio Symphony League’s community cookbook.
What's in a name?
American cheese, for health!
The other American cheese
Italian-style cheeses, specifically mozzarella, have skyrocketed as a proportion of the cheese that America produces. As a gooey pizza-topper, it is beloved for some of the same reasons as orange American cheese—it’s mild, inexpensive, and best when melted.