In Praise of American Cheese

Individually-packaged American cheese slices are not exactly the first thing to come to mind when we think of quality gourmet foods. But hear us out! American cheese has some redeeming qualities that we've really come to appreciate in our kitchen.We know and understand all the arguments against American cheese: it's not real cheese, it's a cheese product, it has no flavor, it's like plastic, and so on. We even agree!

But still, there are some times that just call for a slice of American cheese. Certain diner-style burgers for one and a classic grilled cheese for another. We also think American cheese also goes really well with eggs, and we've come to prefer it on our breakfast sandwiches over fancier cheeses.

For sheer melting quality, you can't do much better. American cheese has a way of draping itself over whatever you're cooking and oozing into every nook and cranny. It never gets oily, but stays creamy and smooth.

We think the flavor is mild and milky with just a hint of cheesy tanginess. It makes things taste rich without overpowering other flavors. Maybe it's just our childhood associations, but American cheese is comforting.

We wouldn't want it all the time, but we do think American cheese has its time and place. What do you think?

Related: Kitchen Confessional: Good Recipes from the Back of the Box

(Image: Flickr member dno1967 licensed under Creative Commons)

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