UK Equivalent of Velveeta Cheese?
Head to a shop selling West Indian produce and look for Grace or Tastee brand cheese. The Irish producer Galtee (lots of Es here, no?) also did a similar process cheese product until recently. They're all 'American' cheese. Otherwise melt process cheese slices - not Dairylea! - over your nachos. And your burgers.
The closest equivalent I could find to Velveeta whilst living in the UK is called 'Squeeze Cheese' (not like the squirty cheese in an aerosol can), made by a company called Old Fashioned Foods (not the Laughing Cow brand). It is a smooth processed cheese in a squeezy plastic bottle, similar in taste and texture to the cheese packets you get in boxed Velveeta shells n' cheese. I believe you can still find squeeze cheese in some Asda, and/or Tesco supermarkets. Also, I have found this at Partridges in London. Both supermarkets have stores online where you can find out in advance if your local store carries it. I found it to be much easier to use when making mac n' cheese than using processed cheese slices (though I would sometimes melt these on top of the mac n' cheese after cooking. yum!) It is a dead ringer for the 'real' thing!
Welll, they don't sell it anymore. However, they do sale velveeta shells and cheese.
In my internet travels, and desperation for things close to home, I stumbled on this recipe for home made velveeta, and it is a dead ringer!
1 1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese, divided into 3 equal parts
1 1/2 cups almost boiling water, divided into 3 equal parts
1/2 cup plus 1 tbls. instant dry milk, divided into 3 equal parts
1/2 envelope unflavored gelatin (1 1/2 tsp.), divided into 3 equal parts
Line a 8x4x2 loaf pan with plastic wrap
Put 1/2 cup water, 3 tbls. milk, and 1/2 tsp. gelatin into blender
Blend until gelatin has dissolved
Add 1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese
Blend until blended smooth
Pour into loaf pan
Repeat same procedure two more times
Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight before unmolding
That will satisfy all of your Tex-Mex needs. And by the way, real authentic Mexican food is near impossible to find anywhere outside of Texas, Oklahoma or Mexico...for obvious reason. 99% of the food that is served as "Mexican" is in fact, Tex-Mex. Authentic Mexican food is delicious, but just doesn't have the zing of Tex-Mex, which is why.
Now, on to cool whip:
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 tsp cold water
3 tbsp boiling water
1/2 cup ice water
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
3-4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
optional: 2 tsp vanilla extract
Chill a Small Mixing Bowl and Whisk
Make sure they are ice cold before beginning! This will make the cool whip the best consistency.
Soften gelatin in alternative container
Put gelatin in container. Soften by stirring in 2tsp of cold water. Next stir in boiling water until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Allow gelatin to cool for 2-3 minutes, until it is room temperature.
Place Ice Water and Dry Milk in the chilled mixing bowl.
Beat at high speed, until mixture forms stiff peaks.
Consider using a mixer to quicken the process, however there is a chance this may effect the consistency.
Add the sugar and pure vanilla extract; continue to beat. Then add vegetable oil and gelatin.
* Vanilla extract is optional. It may take away from clear white color of the cool whip, is this is important to your recipe/dish do NOT use the vanilla.
Place in freezer for 15 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator until use.
Make sure to stir before using it, to ensure a creamy texture.
You should do a cookbook!
I've found that melting in some Red Leicester cheese often turns pasta into something much like the Velveeta taste. Another place with lots of American products is www.skyco.uk. I get a lot of things from them, and they're very nice to deal with.
I will definitely try the cool whip recipe. Fold in some Jello instant chocolate pudding and it's almost low-calorie mousse.
Wow, I just noticed what a thread necro this was!
Sorry for raising the dead. It's just after living in England for 6 years, after retiring from the US Army, whenever Im googling and see a thread like this...I just have to answer. Foodwise, it's been a bit of a struggle for me here. If I can help out another fellow American in the process by sharing what I have done, then I'm first on it!
Again, sorry if this caused any violations of forum rules.
No one here minds old threads coming back from the dead. I've been here seven years, and I've learned to do without most of my favorite things, but I've discovered so many wonderful things to cook here that I don't mind like I did at first. That's what airplanes were invented for... to take us back 'home' to get a good corned beef sandwich.
Are you in London? Panzer's Deli in St. John's Wood stocks a lot of American things. I'm near the American School (and community) in Cobham so the supermarkets there carry a lot of things, too. I've found Oscar Meyer bacon - strangely made in Spain, but it tastes the same.
I like a little thread necro...more pleasant resurrection than Frankenstein. I've since moved back to the US after 5 years in Scotland--let me know if you want me to send you some Velveeta firsthand! That being said I'm hanging on to your excellent recipe for the many times that I will be visiting my in-laws in the years to come. Thank you!
And sorry that you're struggling--I was too, can really sympathise. See--haven't gotten my z's back yet either!
If anyone is interested, I know how to make Ro-Tel tomatoes as well :D
1 gallon peeled and chopped tomatoes
2 bell peppers chopped and seeded
10 hot peppers of your choice, chopped (or mild if you prefer, I like jalepeno and habenero myself)
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
If you plan to freeze it, you don't need the sugar or vinegar. Also, freezing intensifies the "heat" of the peppers.
Put it all in a pot and simmer for about 45 minutes.
If you plan to freeze it then there are no special instructions.
If you prefer to can it (store in mason jars), then you need to put it in the sterilized jars and hot water bath it for 10 minutes.
Make the Cheese recipe above and this Ro-tel.
Cut into 1/2 inch cubes, you should use a whole block.
Put the cheese cubes and 20 oz of the Ro-tel into a slow cooker and set to medium.
Stir routinely to keep the mixture smooth and well ..errr mixed.
After about 30 minutes, it should be a nice rotel cheese dip. You can by doritos here, or top potato wedges, or even a baked potato. It is still, after all these years, my favorite cheese dip ever. You can also use 2 cans of chili con carne to make a nice chili cheese dip for hot dogs, sausages or crisps as well...Chili cheese fries anyone?
Having done a minimal amount of research on the subject, the best substitute for Velveeta (in fact I was looking for something with which to make macaroni and cheese, Kraft-style, since Cheesy Pasta is the pits) is the cheap cheese slices that one can find at Tesco, melted over a low heat. Since it is not real cheese, it's quite close to Velveeta. Melts in a similarly plasticky way. Probably best if you try to dress it up a bit..
Here, here. Now I live in the US, I can definitely tell you that the so-called Mexican food in London is the pits. I live in North Carolina (which has a burgeoning Latino population) and even the Americanized Mexican food is better than that place in Covent Garden, for example. One reason is that it's probably not possible to get the ingredients for Mexican cuisine.
Okay---I'm not proud of this---but I learned how to make Nacho Cheese Sauce after having been deprived for 3 years.
I ate it everyday for a week and now I can't look at the stuff. But I will reveal my secrets---
What you need is to make a simple bechamel sauce, add philly cream cheese, red leicester cheese (for the colour), mozzarella for the gooeyness, and jalapenos (if you want to go all 7-eleven, get the ones in a jar.)
So it's 1 tbs. flour, 1 tbs butter---cook the roux together over medium heat until it looks like sand. Then you add 1.5-2 cups of cold milk quickly and whisk vigorously. Add a couple of pinches of salt. Then stir and stir until it comes to a boil and thickens, and let cook out another 2 mins over low heat. Then add about 100 g of cream cheese, and then 100 g of red leicester cheese, and 50 g of mozzarella. Add the minced jalapenos at the end. Stir until completely melted.
And there you go. Now I feel guilty for leashing this out on the world.
Like kmh, I also had to look up the product in Wiki.
Am I right in thinking you are just wanting to make a cheese sauce to dunk the nachos? Wouldnt making an ordinary cheese sauce work - roux, milk, tasty cheese - and cooking it till it was the right consistency? I wouldnt look beyond Cheddar or a strong Lancashire for this as good and strong melters.
Looking at Kraft's website, it looks it's also used sliced as a topping for, say, burgers. In which case, you'll find all supermarkets have a good selection of pre-sliced cheese. Generally rubbery and bland.
Supermarkets usually have fresh cheese sauces available - usually intended for perhaps pasta. Could that be an easy solution?
re: Brit on a Trip
Thank you all for your answers. I think ill have a go at making my own. I will start by melting some Burger Cheese slices into skimmed milk and see where I go from there. Skyco offer to ship Velveeta to the UK but its about £6 for 200g I think plus about the same again for shipping!
BTW I am actually British, I live about 20 miles from London. :)
okay that puts a different slant on things. i thought you must have been pining for something american
i have just found an alternate recipe, which i have adapted for this discussion
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 fresh long green chillies, finely chopped
2/3 cup (170g) sour cream
1 3/4 cup (145g) grated cheddar
Coriander, to serve
Melt the butter in saucepan over a medium heat. cook onion until soft. Add chillies and cook for 1 minute
Stir in sour cream for 1 minute or until heated through.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese to melt
you could get onto some of the more piquant oranger cheeses to get closer to the us versions of these recipes.
The Sainsburys mild slices are the closest we found. It's essentially "american" cheese.
Not the cheapest solution, but it'll do in a pinch.
The Kraft DairyLea they sell isnt' bad either. It's a lot saltier and has a flavor very close to classic Mcdonald's cheeseburger cheese.
Another thing to try is call up a chain restaurant like Chili's or someone. See if you can finagle a brick of cheese from them :)
Someone else once asked about Velveeta. Being a Yank (and a cheesesteak, Phila. girl), I can tell you that nothing in the UK resembles Velveeta. A good orange cheddar might work. M&S sells a low-fat orange cheese in slices, and it's the closest thing I've found to the taste of Velveeta although it's not able to be cut into big pieces. I guess it would melt down - I haven't tried.
according to wikipedia Velveeta is currently sold in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Philippines, and Germany ("Velveta"). It is sold in Australia as "Kraft Cheddar Cheese". At one time it was also sold in the United Kingdom.
if it is a long life cheese it might be akin to (kraft) cheese spread in UK and Aust. could you try using a combination of cheese. if velveta is marketed as a cheese product and a blend then why not go for a blend yourself. pick a good melting cheese such as swiss or emental and mix it with mozzarella and then something a bit tastier.
i dont know where you are or living, but the UK supermarkets have wonderful selection of cheese generally and it's just a matter of finding something that melts well.
from what i understand velveeta isn't cheese at all so if you are really after something like it you need to be looking in the long life section. sorry i can't help more than that.
i have rcently moved to australia and i can assure you as a long time velveeta yank fan, the kraft cheddar is nothing like it. it doesn't melt to the same consistancy, it's white and the flavor isn't there. i've been searching online to see about purchasing it somehow over the internet. Do you know if it's even possible? the only sites that sell it it seems you havev to be in the states or canada!! Well they can get it anywhere!! What about us overseas?
hungry in australia