American cheese. It’s a slice of American life. Sure, it’s not your fancy cheesemonger’s cheese. But when you need cheese to melt to that perfectly gooey texture, you’ll ask all the fancy shmancy cheese to step aside. Only American cheese will do. It won’t overpower any dish with its complex taste — but it can enhance the natural flavors.
How does it do that, you ask? With humility! American cheese has a way of losing itself in the dish while adding texture. So, let’s celebrate our humble hero during American cheese Month in October. Be proud of your cheese!
American Cheese Month - History
American sliced cheese in individual sleeves came into existence. Kraft purchased the rights to this process from an Indiana inventor.
Robert L. Kraft patented the method for processing cheese. He heated cheddar at 175 degrees for 15 minutes while whisking it continuously.
Long Shelf Life Cheese Invented
In Switzerland, something similar to American cheese was invented using Emmental cheese and sodium citrate. Now there was a cheese with longer shelf life!
Yellow Cheese Takes the Market by Storm
The first American cheese factory was established by Jesse Williams and this cheese was a great hit!
Proud of Our Cheese
Americans were making this type of cheese in the 1700s and exporting it too. In England, it was called Yankee cheese.
American Cheese Month Activities
1. Say "cheese" with your favorite cheese
Take a picture of how you and your family enjoy American cheese and share it with friends on social media.
2. Throw a wine and cheese party
Put a new low-cost twist on an old favorite.
3. Make your own cheese
It's not that difficult. All you need is the right recipe and a little bit of patience.
5 Not-So-Cheesy American Cheese Facts
1. The legalities of cheese
By law, American cheese is supposed to be made with at least two types of cheese. And it's color, yellow or white, depends on the types of cheese and milk products that are used to make it. Go figure!
2. Want embalmed cheese with that?
Yikes! Many cheese critics wanted American cheese to be called embalmed cheese because sodium phosphate, an emulsifying agent, used in it was also used to preserve corpses. Today sodium phosphate is a commonly used emulsifying agent.
3. Originally it was sold in tins
Originally American cheese was sold in the form of blocks packed in tins by Kraft.
4. Don't call it "cheese," please
According to federal laws, it can never be sold as 'cheese' — but as 'processed cheese' — as it isn't made in the traditional way.
5. How much cheese is in cheese?
Kraft American cheese slices have 51% cheese but that's not standard. How much cheese does your cheese have? Always read the ingredient list!
Why We Love American Cheese Month
A. It's a slice of heaven
Kids love it. You can put American cheese on top of anything and kids will devour it.
B. It's a comfort food
For many of us, it's the stuff of childhood memories. Like the delicious mac and cheese your mom made. Or the taste of that simple bologna and American cheese sandwich!
C. It's America's gift to the world
American cheese is popular all over the world for its versatility and is used in a variety of foods.