If you’re from the American Midwest, you know what I’m talkin’ about: an item essential to the USA’s mid-twentieth-century cooking: fluorescent orange process cheese food.
Yes, Velveeta! This gummy block of unlikely color was introduced in America and Canada in 1928. It has the American Medical Association’s seal of approval–as what, its web site didn’t specify, but I’m assuming as food.
It melts beautifully, has a rich creamy texture when warm, tastes like salt and, if the box that once sat in my refrigerator for six months is anything to judge by, is imperishable.
This was what every woman in my family used to make pimiento cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or to enrich tomato soup (from a can). I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I first tasted cheese that didn’t go squish.
Still, nothing can replace it for me on a rainy day when a grilled cheese sandwich would hit the spot. As my mother says, “There’s nothing like it. Plenty BETTER, but nothing LIKE it.”
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What’s your main character’s guilty pleasure comfort food from childhood?