Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cheese >
Oct 9, 2010 06:44 AM

70s Government Cheese

I'm sure many of you remember this stuff, firm, sharp, orange and the best damn burger topper known, next to bacon, not to mention mac-n-cheese that made kids forget the box from Kraft.
So, does anyone know, which company made this stuff? Is it available for sale anywhere? Or can you suggest the next best thing. Thanks, JJ

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I remember it. We got it when the mines were on strike. We called it nacho cheese, but it really wasn't- we just thought we were being funny. Wasn't it made by public companies just made for the government?

    1. It was part of the commodities program. When I was a single mom trying to get through nursing school, it was part of what we got The cheese was good But it was the butter that knocked me to my knees. I'd been using 25-cents-a-pound margarine because of the price. On the other hand, there was that strange canned meat that was red even after they'd cooked it. I wondered if it was horsemeat. But we ate it.

      For all those folks that mutter about government programs, if it weren't for things like and tuition aid, I wouldn't have been an RN and wouldn't have spent decades taking care of patients and families.

      9 Replies
      1. re: lemons

        <For all those folks that mutter about government programs, if it weren't for things like and tuition aid, I wouldn't have been an RN and wouldn't have spent decades taking care of patients and families.>

        Please keep repeating this. I, for one, can't hear it enough times.

        1. re: small h

          Ditto. And everyone who is so against ANY government spending never turns down some pork barrell project in their district, regardless of political affiliation.

          1. re: small h

            "The lessons of history ... show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit."
            ---from FDR's 1935 State of the Union message

            NB: "continued dependence," not assistance to those in temporary need

              1. re: MakingSense

                Welcome back! Nice quote, and I couldn't agree more, as tuition assistance surely represents a temporary need. Although some of my perma-grad student friends might disagree.

              2. re: lemons


                That weird meat made excellent barbeque sandwiches with a bit of bbq sauce.

                1. re: lemons

                  My daughter just got back from Italy she ate Horse Grilled, Braised with Red wine and Porcini, and a Cured Horse Mane Fat similar to Lardo, she couldn't stop talking about how good it was, she said the Italians she was with laughed about the Americans considering so much great meat as pets or dog food. Yes the butter was as good as premium products.

                  1. re: Chef Jimmy J

                    Silly Americans with their particular cultural mores. Oh, wait, that's a bad thing, right?

                2. I have this vague memory that it was intentionally made NOT to taste quite like other, commercially available cheese to avoid overt competition with it. Didn't it have a very smooth American cheese-like texture with a sort of very mild, young Cheddar flavor?

                  1. It looks like vafarmwife is right ... it was made for the government to their specifications
                    and it could be made from trimmings and leftovers from cheesemaking plants:

                    My elementary school was on a government program and we got a lot of the cheese and the weird canned beef rounds for lunch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. My dad and brother swear that the American cheese pack at Costco tastes just like the old government cheese and keep it in their refrigerators for grilled cheese and burger toppings. I'm a Velveeta grilled cheese fan myself, so I'm not sure of the authenticity. It's just too bad you have to buy so much to try it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hippiechickinsing

                        That Costco Cheese makes sense. Thanks for the tip. Velveeta has a nice flavor profile but is too soft for things like Burgers and pasta topping.