My mother bought the large loaves/bricks of it and when we wanted a slice of cheese, a 'cheese slicer' made of a roller, a thin wire and a basic handle was in the silverware drawer, as I expect it was in most kitchens in the 1950s. I liked it just fine.
Recommend this product?
We used it for everything that anyone else might use any kind of cheese for. On sandwiches (including grilled cheese which, by the way, it does quite nicely, making macaroni and cheese or as a melted cheese topping on some kind or other of noodle casserole. Velveeta was what cheese was.
I had a bit of a shocking eye opener when I got to college. The woman I would later marry offered me a piece of cheesecake she had made. I thought, "Oy! A cake made from Velveeta - Sounds really disgusting. I turned it down. Years later, I tasted cheese cake and only then discovered that there are lots of kids of cheeses!
Velveeta is technically classified as a cheese 'product' as its third ingredient by bulk, after milk and water, is whey - actually a byproduct of real cheese manufacture. The designation of the product was changed from being a 'processed cheese food' to a 'cheese product' in the early 2000s after the FDA rules that to be called the former, a product needed to contain at least 51& real cheese.
Velveeta does not, thus the revised categorical descriptor of being a 'pasteurized processed cheese food.' (Wikipedia.com)
Advertised as tasting like Cheddar Cheese (but with "1/3 less fat" according to the packaging) it tastes to most people, more like Cheese Whiz, another pasteurized cheese product.
So, while not confusing Velveeta with 'real' cheese, it is not without good uses around the house! A few of my own favorites include:
Macaroni and cheese as Velveeta does have an especially creamy texture, melts easily and although it has a huge amount of sodium (410mg per 1oz serving!), it tastes a lot less salty that most prepackaged macaroni and cheese mixes.
Grilled cheese sandwiches. The same qualities of quick melting and relative lack of salty flavor make it especially handy (and good) for a quick grilled cheese sandwich.
Crock-Pot based spinach and cheese casseroles that call for cubed Velveeta, also use cottage cheese and taste quite good. It is not to be confused by either the FDA or consumers with 'real' cheese, but for what it is, it has its place and uses.
I'm sure that there are many other examples of where Velveeta can be an acceptable - even a preferred, ingredient. Like SPAM, it has acquired a bad rap among us boomers who regard ourselves as being more sophisticated in our tastes that were our parents. Hooey. Something that is good and tastes the way you want it to is a good thing.
Within the limitations of your own preferences and tastes, Kraft's Velveeta pasteurized cheese product, available in both small and large blocks, is a handy thing to have around the house. Unlike 'real' cheese, it needn't be refrigerated until it is opened and has a shelf life of about 6 months.
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