For years now I’ve bought cold cuts and cheeses at the deli counter exclusively, turning my nose up at utilitarian cheese singles found in the dairy section. We grew up however eating American cheese so it still holds a place in my heart. After a couple of slices at a friend’s place I felt compelled to cave in and buy a pack of Krasdale American Singles, pretentious misgivings aside.
First invented in Switzerland in 1911 by Walter Gerber, the U.S patent was filed by James Kraft (yes, that Kraft) back in 1916. It’s sold often in packs of 12 or 24, individually wrapped. It’s usually an off white color or bright orange. In small print are the strange words: Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food (PPCF). Well what does that mean? To be designated that according to Wikipedia via the FDA it must be:
….made from not less than 51% by final weight of one or more “optional cheese ingredients” (similar to the cheeses available for Pasteurized process cheese) mixed with one or more “optional dairy ingredients” (milk, whey, etc.), and which may contain one or more specified “optional ingredients” (nondairy). Moisture must be <44%, and fat content >23%.
True enough the package I recently bought from Krasdale has cheese as the first ingredient followed by potato starch, whey and a few other items. It contains nothing artificial but there are two types of food coloring.
Regardless of the dubious cheesiness it appeals to my American taste buds (a few times a year). The flavor is mild but pleasantly creamy. It melts extremely well while retaining shape and texture (see: practically every cheeseburger at diners).
I appreciate the long shelf life and price point ($2-$4) as well. Best of all you can throw individual slices in the wrapper at the window and it sticks. You’ll find this highly satisfying. Enjoy.