But what exactly is American cheese? I suppose it’s that exact question that gives it such a bad rap. The American cheese that you find on supermarket shelves isn’t cheese made in the traditional way (milk that’s formed into curds and pressed). Instead, it’s either a blend of cheese and additives, or it’s a highly processed mixture of ingredients such as water, milk, milkfat, milk protein, whey, food coloring, flavorings, and emulsifiers. I wanted to get as close as possible to the taste and texture of American cheese using only pantry ingredients and a food processor.
By making your own American cheese, not only will you know exactly what went into it, but also you can add in flavorings such as black pepper, roasted red peppers… you name it. As I concocted my version of American cheese in the test kitchen, not only did I draw a crowd of curious onlookers, I caused all of the snooty foodies to run for the hills. That’s okay, because I’d take any kind of American cheese over head cheese any day.
The process of making your own doesn't look too difficult, with directions from Yvonne Ruperti at America's Test Kitchen. Link -via the Presurfer
Stange that people took so much offence at his comments. The way I read his post was to say that the problem with this processed cheese is not that it's necessarilly bad, but that it isn't actually cheese. I had a similar experience with milk. I was raised out in the country and the first time I tasted supermarket milk when visiting relatives I handed the glass back to my aunt because I thought there was something wrong with it. It simply wasn't what I thought of as milk. I got used to drinking it, but I still think of it as supermarket milk rather than milk. I remember my wife's reaction on tasting unpasterised milk, so it works both ways.
It's just like that reaction you get as a child the first time you taste lemonade. I remember handing a glass of lemonade to my son when he was small. You could tell from the look on his face that he had been expecting water and he got a totally different flavour and fizz too. He clearly did not like it. It wasn't long before it was his favourite drink.
I'm not saying that Pat above would end up thinking of "American Cheese" as his favourite cheese, but I'm sure he could get used to eating it if he tried it without expecting it to taste like farmhouse cheese.
Someone has to say it...
Behold, the power of cheese.
I'm just saying; everyone else calls this "Processed Cheese", "Sliced Cheese" or something like that, and "American Cheese" it is not, it was invented in Thun, Switzerland.