Canned cheese is becoming a popular staple. Previously unavailable in the United States, this handy product has a variety of uses. Although traditional cheese products will likely offer greater versatility and taste, none can beat canned cheese when it comes to shelf life and easy storage.
Canned cheese has been a staple in Australia for decades. This was a popular staple for people without a refrigerator, both there and in underdeveloped countries. Recently, canned cheese became popular with military and relief agencies. As the popularity of the product grew, it became available in the United States.
Canned cheese, also referred to as "pasteurized processed cheddar cheese" comes in a small can. Though the cheese is cheddar, the taste is often compared to white American cheese, especially in the case of Kraft canned cheese. The product is usually made of cheddar cheese, water, milk fat, salt, lactic acid, and chemicals for preservation and color.
Canned cheese is a popular alternative to powdered or freeze-dried products. It is generally used for camping or hiking trips. Canned cheese is also a good staple for home emergency and disaster preparedness kits. Fans of the product suggest using it in everything from sandwiches, pizzas, omelettes, lasagna and meat loaf. Canned cheeses can be sliced, grated, or cubed as well as melted.
One distinguishing quality of canned cheese is its long shelf life. This is what distinguishes it from other more traditional cheeses. Canned cheese can last from 10 to 15 years, and is considered by some to have an almost indefinite shelf life. Manufacturers do caution, however, that the product will not maintain its quality for more than two years. Once opened, canned cheese must be treated like any cheese product and should be refrigerated in a sealed container or bag.
There are two popular brands of canned cheese. Kraft and Red Feather by Bega compete strongly with one another. Both products are similar in serving size and price. Kraft generally has a milder taste, while Red Feather canned cheese tends to be sharper. An 8-ounce can of Kraft canned cheese has 100 calories, 80 of which are from fat. A 7.97-ounce can of Red Feather canned cheese has only 61 calories, 42 of these from fat.
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