Archive for September 12th, 2011

September 12, 2011

Cheesesteak

pats

genos

A cheesesteak, also known as a Philly cheesesteak or a steak and cheese, is a sandwich made from thinly sliced pieces of steak and melted cheese in a long roll. A popular regional fast food, it has its roots in the city of Philadelphia. The cheesesteak was developed in the early 20th century ‘by combining frizzled beef, onions, and cheese in a small loaf of bread,’ according to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphians Pat and Harry Olivieri are often credited with inventing the sandwich by serving chopped steak on hoagie rolls in the early 1930s. They began selling this variation of steak sandwiches at their hot dog stand near south Philadelphia’s Italian Market. They became so popular that Pat opened up his own restaurant which still operates today as Pat’s King of Steaks at the intersection of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue in South Philly.

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September 12, 2011

Cheez Whiz

wiz wit

Cheez Whiz is a thick processed cheese sauce or spread sold by Kraft Foods. It was developed by a team led by food scientist Edwin Traisman and was first marketed in 1953. The bright orange, viscous paste usually comes in a glass jar and is used as a topping for celery, cheesesteaks, corn chips, hot dogs and other foods. It is marketed in Canada, México, the Philippines, the United States and Venezuela.

Cheez Whiz is one of a number of ‘processed cheese foods,’ a category including some types of individually-wrapped cheese slices. These products contain regular cheese that has been reprocessed along with additional ingredients such as emulsifiers and stabilizing agents, such as xanthan gum or carrageenan. These products derive their tanginess and flavor from additional ingredients such as citric acid and flavoring compounds. Annatto is used for coloring. In some markets, the product has been sold in a narrow jar that tapered towards the base when sold as a spread. When Cheez Whiz is advertised as a dip or a sauce, the jars are larger and more of a squat cylindrical shape.

September 12, 2011

Easy Cheese

easy cheese

Easy Cheese is the trademark for a processed cheese product distributed by Kraft Foods, also referred to as aerosol cheese or spray cheese, and is a descendant of squeeze cheese (a semi-solid cheesefood from the 1970s packaged in a squeezable plastic tube). It comes packaged in a spray can, much like canned whipped cream and does not require refrigeration. Easy Cheese contains milk, water, whey protein concentrate, canola oil, milk protein concentrate, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid, sodium alginate, apocarotenal, annatto, cheese culture, and enzymes.

Although sometimes called ‘aerosol cheese,’ its container is not actually an aerosol spray can. Rather, the can contains a piston and a barrier plastic cap which squeezes the cheese through the nozzle in a solid column when the nozzle is pressed and the propellant expands in volume. The propellant, therefore, does not mix with the cheese. This explains why the can has a small rubber plug on its base. The can design also ensures that the cheese can be dispensed with the can upright or inverted.

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September 12, 2011

Processed Cheese

laughing cow

velveeta

Processed cheese is a food product made from normal cheese and sometimes other unfermented dairy ingredients, plus emulsifiers, extra salt, food colorings, or whey. Many flavors, colors, and textures of processed cheese exist. In the United States, the most recognizable variety of processed cheese is sold under the name American cheese, although this name also has other meanings. The Laughing Cow is an example of processed cheese.

Although processed cheese was first invented in 1911 by Walter Gerber of Thun, Switzerland, it was James L. Kraft who first applied for an American patent for his method in 1916. Kraft Foods also created the first commercially available sliced processed cheese, which was introduced in 1950. This form of sliced cheese and its derivatives have become commonplace in the United States, most notably used for cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.

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September 12, 2011

Kraft Singles

Kraft single

Kraft Singles is a processed ‘cheese product’ manufactured and sold by Kraft Foods, introduced in 1949. Although processed cheese was first invented in 1911 by Walter Gerber of Thun, Switzerland, it was James L. Kraft who first applied for an American patent for his method in 1916. Kraft Foods also created the first commercially available sliced processed cheese, which was introduced in 1950.

One of the more famous ad campaigns in the 1980s claimed that each ¾ ounce slice contained ‘five ounces of milk’ (with milk being poured into a glass next to Kraft Singles), which makes them taste better than imitation cheese slices made mostly with vegetable oil and water (with oil being poured into a glass next to imitation cheese) and hardly any milk. The campaign was lambasted for its implications that each slice contained the same amount of calcium as a five ounce glass of milk and also more calcium than imitation cheese slices, which eventually led to a ruling by the Federal Trade Commission in 1992 that ordered Kraft to stop making false claims in its advertising. Kraft removed the ads, but continues to taut the use of milk in its ‘cheese products.’

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September 12, 2011

American Cheese

american cheese by Esteban Pulido

American cheese is a processed cheese, mild in flavor, with a medium-firm consistency, which melts easily. It was originally only white in color, but is usually now darkened to yellow or orange, typically with annatto, a natural food coloring.

At one time it was made from a blend of cheeses, most often Colby and Cheddar, but today’s American cheese is typically manufactured from raw ingredients, such as milk, whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and salt. In many jurisdictions, it does not meet the legal definition of cheese and must be labeled as ‘cheese analogue,’ ‘cheese product,’ ‘processed cheese,’ or similar and is commonly referred to as ‘plastic cheese’ or ‘burger cheese’ in the UK.

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