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What Is a Cheese Food

You know that cheese is good for you - it provides calcium for strong bones. But just what is a cheese food? Is it a fake cheese? Learn more about cheese food products!

This question came about because I saw a Black Diamond "chardonnay and cheddar" tub. It mixes Black Diamond Cheddar with chardonnay wine. They call it a "spreadable cold pack cheese food".

If you eat something called "cheese" - then it has to be just cheese. That is, it has to be milk that has been turned into cheese with the proper enzymes and aging.

However, the moment you start adding things TO the cheese it is no longer JUST cheese so you now have to call the concoction "cheese food". I actually agree with this idea. If you see something called an "apple" you want to know it's just an apple, not an apple with things added to it. The same should be true with cheese. So this "cheese food" name is the solution.

A cheese food still has to be 51% (i.e. the majority) made up of cheese. So in this case the ingredient list is:

sharp cheddar cheese (which by definition must be 51% or more), then water, reduced lactose whey, cream, chardonnay, whey, sorbic acid, salt, guar gum, and lactic acid. So there's nothing too odd in here. I imagine the main purpose of some of these items is to make the cheddar - which normally is a hard, cut-into-slices cheese, into something soft and spreadable.

I love cheddar, and I love chardonnay, so how does this taste? I suppose it's one of those "have to get used to it" things. I find an odd taste in there. Maybe it's the chardonnay. Maybe it's the whey. It's certainly not a bad taste. It just isn't as tasty to me as putting slices of cheddar onto my cracker or cucumber or whatever I use. Then again it is much easier.

They say a serving is 2 Tablespoons which seems awfully small to me. In a given serving is 90 calories, and 240mg of sodium. There are 7g of fat - but no trans fats. There are 3g of carbs, with no fiber. You do get 5g of protein per serving.

For vitamins you get 6% vitamin A, and 15% of your calcium.

So to summarize, cheese food is a type of cheese product, and it simply means something has been added to the cheese. Cheese products typically have more carbs than "straight cheese" - but it is usually a minimal amount, and the ease of use and calcium / protein might more than make up for that.

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