American Things That I Don’t Miss #1

Unnaturally Orange Processed Cheese

It being a lazy-Sunday-type day HL and I went to McDonalds for coffee and breakfast. We wanted to get one of those ‘limited time only’ McAmerica Bagels before the Olympics start and they go the way of all brilliant and yummy ‘we’re-only-going-to-stock-this-for-a-while-even-though-it’s-delicious-and-better-than-anything-else-on-our-regular-menu’ menu items.

Well, it was brilliant and yummy – just the right amount of sauce and meat and egg and etc – but, while eating, I noticed the cheese hanging off the edge of the bagel and I immediately journeyed back in time to one of my first trips to an American grocery store.

One of my very favourite things to do in the States – at least in the first few months of moving there – was to wander around the supermarket agog at the surreal, almost-familiar-but-not-quite selection of food on offer. There’s something very ‘olde worlde’ about American grocery products. I think it’s something to do with the packaging – very homey and welcoming and a little naïve (deliberately I’m sure). It makes me feel like I’m living in a different era, it’s sweet.

But I digress…

On one of these ‘grocery field trips’ I was wandering through the Dairy Foods section (aisle upon aisle) and I came across a huge block of lurid orange…stuff. I examined it. I inspected the packaging – no clues. I squeezed it. I sniffed it (hmmm…plasticky). I hefted it (heavy, very heavy). I still couldn’t (really, I promise, the packaging didn’t actually specify) figure out what it was.

I took the block over to HL with a quizzical look.
“What the hell is this?”
“That’s cheese…”
“No, seriously, what is it?”
“I assure you, it’s cheese, processed cheese.”
Incredulous look…

Cheese should NOT be this shade of orange: 

American Cheese

American Cheese

Cheese should look like this:

Aussie Cheese

Aussie Cheese

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2 Comments

  1. mandymaxwell said,

    July 20, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Awww, you’ve never eaten real Cheddar then?. Cheddar cheese is a UK product from Cheddar Gorge. (Local legend has it that cheese was discovered accidentally when a village milkmaid left a pail of milk, for safety, in the nearby Cheddar Gorge caves. Later the milkmaid returned to find that the milk had turned into a new tasty substance and Cheddar cheese was born.)

    But honestly, do you consider the slice of rubber that clings to a McBurger of any sort to be A) Cheese or B) Edible? ….

  2. notperfection said,

    July 21, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    To answer your last question first: nope, I’m under no delusion that the orange thing on a burger from Macca’s is a dairy product, it merely masquerades as such 🙂

    I have had proper UK Cheddar – a very long time ago when I was a child and we visited England (pretty tasty in a Ploughman’s). We have pretty good versions of the original here in OZ, too.


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