Did Kraft Change American Cheese?

American cheese is a staple in many households across the United States. It’s the cheese that we use to make grilled cheese sandwiches, melt over burgers, and add to macaroni and cheese.

But have you ever wondered how American cheese came to be and whether Kraft had a hand in changing it? Let’s delve into the history of American cheese and its connection with Kraft.

The Origins of American Cheese

American cheese has been around since the late 19th century. It was originally made from a blend of different cheeses, such as cheddar and colby. The purpose was to create a cheese that was mild in flavor, easy to melt, and had a smooth texture.

Over time, American cheese became popular due to its versatility and affordability. It quickly became a favorite among households across America.

Kraft’s Role

In the early 20th century, James L. Kraft revolutionized the cheese industry with his innovative methods of manufacturing and packaging cheese. Kraft introduced processed cheese slices, which were individually wrapped for convenience.

Processed American cheese is made by combining natural cheeses with emulsifiers, such as sodium citrate or sodium phosphate. These emulsifiers help bind the ingredients together, resulting in a smoother texture and improved melting properties.

Kraft played a significant role in popularizing processed American cheese by making it more accessible to consumers. The individually wrapped slices were convenient for sandwiches, and they became a staple ingredient in many households.

The Impact on Traditional American Cheese

The rise of processed American cheese had an impact on traditional American cheesemakers. As more consumers gravitated towards processed options like Kraft singles, demand for traditional block-style American cheese decreased.

However, it’s important to note that Kraft’s success in the processed cheese market does not necessarily mean that they changed the original recipe of American cheese. They simply introduced a new variety that appealed to a wider audience.

The Evolution of American Cheese

As time went on, American cheese evolved further. While traditional block-style American cheese is still available, there are now various options on the market, including reduced-fat and organic versions.

In recent years, there has also been a growing interest in artisanal American cheeses. These cheeses are made by small-scale producers using traditional methods and high-quality ingredients. They aim to bring back the authentic flavors of American cheese while incorporating modern twists.

In Conclusion

Kraft undeniably played a significant role in shaping the popularity of American cheese with their processed cheese slices. However, it’s crucial to recognize that they did not change the original recipe or eliminate traditional American cheese from the market.

American cheese continues to be enjoyed by millions of people across America in various forms and variations. Whether you prefer the convenience of processed slices or the authenticity of block-style cheeses, there is an option out there for everyone.