HOME > Chowhound > Cheese >


But is it CHEESE?

What are your thoughts on cheese in a jar/box such as Cheezwiz and Velveeta? One I do enjoy is the Kraft Old English, in a little juice glass sized jar. But is this stuff really cheese?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. i don't think it qualifies as the technical definition of "cheese," but i think using that as a way of giving it a diminutive status is pretty misleading. when it's used correctly, all these can be extremely delicious; cheezwiz on a cheesesteak is unreal, and my mum makes a cheesy potato soup with velveeta that takes me back to when i was ten.

    1 Reply
    1. re: beelzebozo

      I love Cheez WHiz on toast! Haven't had it in years, but maybe I will have to hide on in my pantry for when the craving hits.

    2. As I understand it, although Cheese Whiz, for example, contains some cheese like cheddar or colby, there's a variety of other ingredients such as sodium or potassium phosphate, tartrate, or citrate, and water, salt, maybe some spices... so, I wouldn't classify it as Cheese. Ever since DH had his triple bypass, his cardiologist made stuff like that verboten in our lives.

      1. my understanding is stuff like "cheese" in a jar/box, etc. is technically "cheese food product" or some other sketchy semantical variant

        1. I don't eat Cheese Whiz, but when I'm diving a shallow coral reef, it brings in fish as if you rang a dinner bell. (Below about 20 feet, it won't come out of the can)

          4 Replies
          1. re: Veggo

            interesting, must remember this.

            1. re: Veggo

              veggo: that's truly fascinating...but what in the world possessed you to try it in the first place???

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Not at all an original idea. I've been scuba diving 21 years now, and learned the Cheeze Whiz thing early on from other divers.
                P.S. It would be fun for snorkelers, too, if you're not yet certified.

                1. re: Veggo

                  I know it's fun, but it's not good for the fish. Corn kernels work well too, and though it's not a fish's natural dish, at least it's not chemicals.

            2. I have no proof but I suspect petroleum somehow comes into play. Have prices for this "cheese food product" been climbing steadily of late?

              1. as other posters have said, those products are not technically cheese. they're classified differently depending upon the percentage of actual cheese, moisture, and milkfat they contain.

                FDA definitions:

                "Pasteurized process cheese food" is a variation of processed cheese that may have dry milk, whey solids, or anhydrous milkfat added, which reduces the amount of cheese in the finished product. It must contain at least 51% of the cheese ingredient by weight, have a moisture content less than 44%, and have at least 23% milkfat.

                "Pasteurized process cheese spread" is a variation on cheese food that may contain a sweetener and a stabilizing agent, such as the polysaccharide xanthan gum or the Irish moss colloid carrageenan, to prevent separation of the ingredients. The cheese must be spreadable at 70 F, contain 44 to 60% moisture, and have at least 20% milkfat.

                "Pasteurized process cheese product" is processed cheese that doesn't meet the moisture and/or milkfat standards.

                so, anything less than 51% cheese [e.g. velveeta, cheez whiz] is known as "pasteurized process cheese product."

                2 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  it still kind of worries me that products with only 51-99% cheese can still by called cheese.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Cheese sauce you get with natchos at the movies has 2-3% of real cheese...rest is fillers and thickening agents...

                  2. Just depends on your definition of cheese. If you like a "cheese product," and your doctor thinks it's safe, enjoy it. The only such stuff I've liked was the smoky cheese spread, but I can't find it at the market any more.

                    1. Most processed "cheese" undergo no fermentation process but are curdled with vinegar and emulsified with various gums and binders. They may not even be made with milk, but with milk powder.

                      Still...sometimes that taste is just right.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: bsheitman

                        "Still...sometimes that taste is just right."

                        As on a thin hamburger patty cooked well-done, topped with yellow mustard, sweet green relish and chopped cooking onion, on a Wonder Bread style bun.

                        1. re: mrbozo

                          Ha...no ;) I can only think of one instance really, and that is on a english muffin/egg/bacon sandwhich. Otherwise....I prefer the real deal.

                          1. re: bsheitman

                            in macaroni and cheese, the yellow stuff really shines. also excellent when in a "pig in a blanket"

                            1. re: beelzebozo

                              Wait I know...you wouldn't fill a cheese-stuffed-breaded-bacon-wrapped-deep-fried hot dog with real cheese now wouldja? That's Easy Cheese all the way.


                        2. re: bsheitman

                          Like Cheez-Whiz on a cheesesteak. Using real cheese just doesn't taste right!

                        3. Been wondering this myself. If you look at our language, cats eat cat food, fish eat fish food, and when I see "cheese food" on a package... well, cheese doesn't eat food!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: link_930

                            It will if you leave it in the fridge long enough.

                          2. I agree with the OP in that the Kraft Old English, as well as the pimento and pineapple IMO are better than the "sleazy cheese" or velveeta. The stuff in the can does travel well, esp for kids who get hungry in the car. Just remember to tell them to tilt the can downward or you might end up with easy cheese shrapnel on the interior of your car. Its like glue...