Amid America’s golden age of cheese, there are hundreds of varieties of fine fromages handcrafted by more than 900 artisan and specialty cheesemakers in the US.
Let’s be clear: this article is not about those fine artisanal cheeses. No, this is an ode to Cheese Whiz, that gooey substance that is neither fine nor artisanal… nor even actual cheese.
But to criticize Cheese Whiz for its lack of class, craftsmanship, or cheese, would be to miss the point of the product entirely. When Kraft food scientist Edwin Traisman and his team invented Cheese Whiz, they dreamed of creating a food that outdid Kraft Singles in terms of quick and easy eating. No longer would Americans have to laboriously slice or peel off flimsy plastic films or even chew to enjoy cheese — cheese-loving consumers could shovel a spoonful of Cheese Whiz straight from the jar into their mouth!
In celebration of this iconic, cheese-like condiment, let us go back to a time before we became cheese snobs and dive into the untold truth of Cheese Whiz.