cheese loafI got all excited when I first saw the new Kraft Make Something Amazing commercial. Yay, someone is actually encouraging us to cook real food from scratch! How exciting! And then I watched the commercial more closely. Despite the twee song by Canadian indie band Mother Mother and the sun-drenched shots of families and hipsters frolicking around their kitchen playing with food, what did I spy? Lots of American cheese slices.

Harrmumph, a commercial for processed cheese foods disguised as a commercial for cooking? Okay -- fine, I think I caught a few shots of bags with grated REAL cheese in them. I guess we could consider this an improvement over America's history with cheese. But let's take a walk down memory lane to recall some of America's most infamous cheez-like food products.

American Cheese Slices. There it is, that floppy square of plasticky cheese food product sandwiched between sheets of cellophane. It's kind of the cheese equivalent of of pleather.

The Can of Parmesan. I grew up with this and still crave it occasionally, mostly just after I've scraped my knuckles grating a rock-hard chunk of real Parmesan. It's no match for the real thing, and yet there's something vaguely comforting about it that brings memories of striped turtlenecks and The Carpenters.

Velveeta. Beloved for its ability to melt and it's incredibly long shelf life. Now it comes packaged with macaroni so you can just microwave the whole thing and pretend you're eating food. According to Squidoo about 5% of the population eats about 75% of all the Velveeta, so you fans can consider yourselves part of an elite force.

Cheez Whiz. If you prefer the low-carb version of macaroni and cheese, just get a jar of this stuff and grab a spoon! By law, some companies can't even call it "cheese" because technically it isn't. It's actually vegetable oil mixed with milk proteins or some such dairy-adjacent whatchamacallit.

Spray Cheese. Forget the spoon altogether and just spray this stuff directly into your mouth. It's the ultimate convenience food. For people who don't actually like, you know, food food.

Do you eat processed cheese products or do you prefer "real" cheese?


Image via Word Ridden/Flickr