One of America’s Favorites – American Cheese

October 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Posted in cheese, One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Wrapped slices of American processed cheese

Wrapped slices of American processed cheese


American cheese is a processed cheese. It is orange, yellow, or white in color and mild in flavor, with a medium-firm consistency, and melts easily. American cheese was originally only white, but is often now modified to yellow. In the past, it was made from a blend of cheeses, most often Colby and Cheddar. Today’s American cheese is generally no longer made from blended cheeses, but instead is manufactured from a set of ingredients such as milk, whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and salt. In the United States, it may not be legally sold as “cheese”, and must be labeled as “processed cheese”, “cheese product”, or similar—e.g., “cheese food”. At times even the word “cheese” is missing in the name on the label, e.g. “American slices” or “American singles“. In Canada, exactly the same product, often by the same manufacturer with the same label design, used to be sold as “Canadian cheese” or “Canadian slices”. Today, most such product in Canada is vaguely labelled just “slices” or “singles”. In the United Kingdom, packs are labelled as “singles”, although it is commonly called cheese slices.
The marketing label “American Cheese” for processed cheese combined with the prevalence of processed cheese in the U.S compared to the rest of the world has led to the term American cheese being used in the U.S. synonymously in place of processed cheese in America. The term “American cheese” has a legal definition as a type of pasteurized processed cheese under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.
American cheese is used in American cuisine, for example on cheeseburgers, in grilled cheese sandwiches, and in macaroni and cheese.



British colonists made cheddar soon upon their arrival in America. By 1790, American cheddars were being exported back to England. The British referred to American cheddar as “American cheese”, or “Yankee cheese”, and post-Revolution Americans promoted this usage to distinguish their product from European cheese. For example, an 1878 newspaper article in The New York Times lists the total export of American cheese at 355 million pounds per year, with an expected growth to 1,420 million pounds.
After the invention of processed cheese in 1911, and its popularization by James L. Kraft in the late 1910s and 1920s, the term “American cheese” rapidly began to refer to this variety rather than to American cheddar. The latter had already begun to be produced on an industrial scale in the 1890s, leading to the term “factory cheese”. And in the 1920s another slang term arose for the still-popular cheese: “rattrap cheese”, or “rat cheese”.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines American cheese as a “cheese of cheddar type, made in the U.S.” and lists 1804 as the first known usage of “American cheese”, occurring in the Frankfort, Kentucky newspaper Guardian of Freedom. The next usage given is in 1860 by Charles Dickens in his series The Noncommercial Traversal.



Even though the term “American cheese” has a legal definition in the United States as a type of pasteurized processed cheese, products called “American cheese” are by no means identical. Depending on the additives and the amounts of milk fat and water added to the cheese during emulsification, the taste and texture of American cheese varies, with some varieties (e.g. “American cheese” and “American processed cheese”) being very similar to non-processed cheese and other varieties (e.g. “American cheese food” and “American cheese product”) being more like Velveeta or Cheez Whiz.
The taste and texture of different varieties of American cheese vary considerably, and mostly depend on the percentage of cheese versus additives used during emulsification. Varieties with lower percentages of additives tend to taste more like unprocessed cheese. Depending on the food manufacturer, the color of the cheese (orange, yellow, or white) may indicate different ingredients or processes. Some manufacturers reserve the white and yellow colors for their less processed (i.e. fewer additives) American cheese varieties. In other cases, the ingredients for white and orange colors are the same, except for the coloring.
The processed variety of American cheese is sold in three basic packaging varieties: individually wrapped cheese slices (which technically are not slices, sliced off a block of cheese, but rather slabs of processed cheese which are formed from a viscous processed cheese which only solidifies between the wrapping medium), small pre-sliced blocks of 8 to 36 slices, and large blocks meant for deli counters. The individually wrapped cheese slices are typically the least like unprocessed cheese. Small (e.g., 8- to 36-slice) blocks of pre-sliced, but not individually wrapped American cheese are also marketed, often with the branding “deluxe” or “old-fashioned”. This variety of American cheese is similar in ingredients and texture to that of modern block American cheese. Before the advent of the individually wrapped variety, this was the typical variety that Americans purchased. Hence, some people refer to this as “classic” or “traditional” American cheese.



This is a list of cheeses typical of the United States. The list excludes specific brand names, unless a brand name is also a distinct variety of cheese. Many additional European-type cheeses are also made in the United States, such as Brie, Cheddar, Gouda, mozzarella and provolone. Also, many local dairies throughout the country produce artisan cheeses and other more localized flavors. (Note that the term “American cheese” is also used to refer to the technology of processed cheese). Many American cheese varieties are related to European cheeses, with slightly different recipes, and with European-sounding names, such as Swiss cheese, which is not normally found or produced in Switzerland. Almost half of the cheese produced in the United States comes from Wisconsin and California.



List of American cheeses

Bergenost cheese

Bergenost cheese

* Bergenost
* Brick cheese
* Caprizella, goat cheese, made in Washington State
* Cheese curds, also common in Canada
* Colby cheese
* Colby-Jack cheese
* Cougar Gold cheese
* Cream cheese
* Creole cream cheese
* Cup Cheese
* Farmer cheese
* Hoop cheese, drier version of farmer cheese
* Humboldt Fog, made in California
* Kunik cheese
* Liederkranz cheese
* Maytag Blue cheese, brand name which is also a distinct variety of cheese
* Monterey Jack
* Pepper jack cheese, variety of Monterey Jack
* Muenster cheese
* Pinconning cheese, an aged variety of Colby
* Red Hawk cheese, a triple-crème cow’s milk cheese with a brine washed rind, made in California
* String cheese, the particular American variety of Mozzarella with a stringy texture
* Swiss cheese
* Teleme cheese

A package of brick cheese

A package of brick cheese

Processed cheeses

* American cheese, a processed cheese food, not technically a cheese
* Government cheese, variety of processed cheese food
* Provel cheese
* Velveeta, brand name for a softer style of processed cheese than American cheese



Frito Pie

November 8, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Posted in beans, chili | 2 Comments
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With the changing of seasons comes different recipes for the season. One of our favorites for when the weather turns cooler is Frito Pie! A delicious and hearty appetizer for the chilly nights. There’s many different recipes out there but this is the one we usually prepare.
Frito Pie


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound 99%-lean ground turkey
3 cloves Garlic, Minced (optional)
1/2 cup mild chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth or chicken broth
16 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
Cooking spray, preferably canola oil
2 15-ounce cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed, divided
2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese or sharp Cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato, diced
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 small jar of jalapenos

Position racks in middle and lower third of oven; preheat to 375°F.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and turkey; cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally and maintaining a simmer, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, coat both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. Cut them in half, then cut each half into 1-inch strips. Spread the strips on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake, rotating the pans from top to bottom and stirring halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes.
Mash 1 cup beans in a bowl. After the chili has simmered for 30 minutes, stir in the mashed beans and whole beans. Cook until the beans are heated through, about 3 minutes more.
To serve, place about 3/4 cup tortilla strips in each of 8 shallow bowls. Ladle about 1 1/4 cups chili on top. Garnish with cheese, tomato, lettuce, scallions and jalapeños (if desired).

Grilled Ham and 3 Cheese w/ Tomato Soup

April 13, 2012 at 5:26 PM | Posted in Amy's Organic, cheese, diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, grilling, low calorie, low carb | 3 Comments
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Today’s Menu: Grilled Ham and 3 Cheese w/ Tomato Soup

Healthy, Simple, and Delicious dinner tonight! It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood today and was outside most of the day. Wanted something that wouldn’t take a lot of effort and time so I went with a Grilled Ham and 3 Cheese and a bowl of Tomato Soup. For my sandwich I used Oscar Mayer Carver Board Ham and for the 3 Cheese I used a slice of Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss, a slice of Sargento Reduced Fat Colby – Jack, and a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese. I topped it with some Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo w/ Olive Oil. I layered everything  but the wedge of Blue Cheese which I crumbled. I served it on Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. I buttered the outside of each slice of bread with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and grilled the sandwich browning both sides. I Love all the different types of Grilled Cheese and the different ways and toppings you can do with them. Turned out delicious!

For the soup I used Amy’s  Organic Light in Sodium – Cream of Tomato Soup which has been my Tomato Soup of choice lately. Not only great tasting but it’s only 110 calories and 19 carbs! I left the Soup info and description at the end of the post. For dessert later a Jello Sugar free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.

Amy’s Organic Light in Sodium – Cream of Tomato Soup

Responding to customer requests, our chefs have created a line of Light in Sodium soups with all the flavor and goodness of our regular soups, but containing 50% less sodium. Contains 340 mg of sodium compared to 690 mg in Amy’s regular cream of tomato soup. No GMOs – No bioengineered ingredients. All dairy ingredients are made with pasteurized, rBST hormone free milk. USDA organic. Certified organic by QAI. Ready serve. Gluten free. This Cream of Tomato Soup is made from organic sun-ripened tomatoes slowly simmered to bring out their natural sweetness. Amy’s dad says it’s the best reduced sodium tomato soup he’s ever eaten. We’re sure that you’ll agree.

Contains 340mg of sodium compared to 690mg in Amy’s regular Cream of Tomato soup.

Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives Organic tomato puree, filtered water, organic cream, organic evaporated cane juice, organic onions, sea salt, organic black pepper. Contains milk.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Servings Per Container: ~ 2
Serving Weight: 1 cup
Product UPC: 0-42272-00581-9
Calories: 110     Calories from Fat: 25
Total Fat: 2.5g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 340mg
Carbohydrates: 19g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 13g
Protein: 3g
Organic: 10%
Vitamin A: 20% • Vitamin C: 15%
Calcium: 4% • Iron: 10%

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