processed cheese substance which became known as Velveeta was developed in 1908
in the state of New York. The product was sold to Kraft Foods in 1927, and
under its new identity it rapidly became an iconic American food.
for Velveeta – a “cheese food” not an actual cheese - over the next three
decades highlighted its differences (advantages, apparently) over the real
It is not an ordinary
cheese – Velveeta is a cheese food rich in protein
foil-wrapped and packaged … It stays FRESH.
BUTTER (so you don’t need butter), yet slices firmly.
Exciting NEW cheese
MEN ARE SAYING: “At
last! We’ve been waiting for this flavour.”
brief attempt to clarify the history of Velveeta in Australia were somewhat
confused by the existence of a “Velveeta Talcum Powder” (sixpence a tin) in the
second decade of the twentieth century. The cheese version did not become an
“overnight success” in Australia until the early 1950’s.
Britain, the first mention of Velveeta that I have been able to find in newspaper
cooking columns was in The Times of April 3, 1939. Interestingly, it was
in an article entitled “In an American Kitchen” which began:
Why should vegetables
be so often only a prop to the meat? They deserve better treatment. Why not
give them a solo part? Dress them with sophistication and they graduate from an
accessory dish to a vegetable course.
of the recipes included in the article was:
often one needs a first course for luncheon or Sunday supper that can be
snatched from the pantry shelf. Here is a quick one. It calls for a package of
Velveeta cheese (80z.) and two jars of spaghetti in tomato sauce (17 oz. jars).
the cheese crosswise in one-quarter-inch slices and then slice each into
thirds. Add a scant teaspoonful of salt to the spaghetti. Arrange the spaghetti
and cheese in alternate layers in a casserole, beginning with the spaghetti and
ending with the cheese. Place in a hot oven (400 deg. F) for 25 to 30 minutes,
or until the cheese is melted and the mixture thoroughly heated through,
Broiled sausages, cut up and sprinkled over the top after baking, will make
more of a dish of it. Four to five portions.
wonder – where are the vegetables in this dish?
The tomato sauce must count as a vegetable?
I have to ask in view of the introductory paragraph, - where is the
sophistication in this recipe?
cheese had its few moments of glory a few years later during World War II. The
“Kraft Kitchen” advised the British housewife, beleaguered by rationing, to
have “A Main Dish of Cheese Once a Week.”
week’s recipe from the Kraft Kitchen.
¼ lb. Kraft Cheddar or
Kraft Velveeta shredded.
2 lb potatoes
2 teaspoons margarine
Pepper, salt, nutmeg
Method. Bake or boil
potatoes in their skins, peel, mash with margarine melted, add most of the
cheese, seasoning to taste. Form into dumpling shapes, roll in remaining
cheese, place under a grill or in hot oven for 10 minutes. Before serving,
stick a clove in the centre of each. Serve with spinach and chutney or relish.
(Makes 8 dumplings.)
December 18, 1941
finally, I want to share with you one of the most famous dishes using Velveeta.
This recipe appeared on packets of the cheese product from the 1920’s
Cut thin slices of
fresh white bread lengthwise from the bottom of the loaf. Spread generously
with Kraft Velveeta. Roll up like a jelly roll, fasten with toothpicks and
toast on all sides under the broiler flame. Velveeta Rolls are delicious with
salads or tea.
you have a Velveeta memory? Please share with us if you do, via the comments.