Is Velveeta Real Cheese? Velveeta has been a staple in many American pantries for more than three generations. The mild-tasting and quick-melting product is often a part of everyday meals like shells and cheese and can also be found in a wide variety of cheesy dips frequently seen at family gatherings and sporting events.
Is Velveeta Real Cheese? Is it Healthy?
But the question that always comes to mind when you see the familiar oval logo is whether or not Velveeta is real cheese. To answer the question correctly, one has to consider its history. More than one hundred years ago, a little-known company called the Monroe Cheese Company hired a Swiss immigrant named Emil Frey, whose job was to find a way to use and repackage any misshapen or broken cheese wheels the company’s buyers did not want.
Is Velveeta Real Cheese?
Frey worked with the cheese scraps and various ingredients until he discovered a way to meet them, add byproducts, and shape them back into blocks with a velvety consistency. From the early 1900s, the company in Monroe, NY, sold the product using real cheese as the main ingredient and milk, whey proteins, and other byproducts as additions to give it the smooth consistency that quickly became a favorite among consumers.
Then, in 1927, one of the largest food manufacturing and distribution companies of the day, Kraft, purchased both the company and the rights to the product Velveeta. By the 1930s, as its popularity continued to grow, the Kraft company sought and gained the first seal of approval from the American Medical Association. At this time, in both packaging and advertising, Velveeta was named a cheese product.
In the 1950s, Kraft changed the Velveeta formula again, and the now-familiar oval logo became prominent on its packaging and the words “cheese spread.” However, in the United States, and eerily similar to American cheese, Velveeta must be labeled a “pasteurized prepared cheese product” since 2002. So in today’s world, No, Velveeta cannot legally call itself cheese.
Most cheeses have very few ingredients, such as pasteurized milk, enzymes, and salt. And refrigeration is recommended for storing. The big difference with Velveeta is that it is shelf-stable, thanks mainly to an additional dozen ingredients like sodium phosphate, sorbic acid, and lactic acid. The fact that the cheese product’s shelf life is months long should tip consumers off that it is loaded with preservatives.
So with football games, family gatherings, and holiday celebrations increasing in numbers this year, if you are looking to make healthier dishes for your guests, you may want to rethink some of those dishes that use Velveeta as the main ingredient.
Read more – Which Frozen Foods Are Healthiest?