Jul 31, 2012
Cheeses of the World - Part Two
There is no magical cheese goo on the Baconator®. It's just a plain old processed cheese slice.
From the official Wendy's site I have the full ingredients list:
Hamburger Patties - Ground Beef. Seasoned with salt.
Processed Cheese Slice - Cheese (milk, modified milk ingredients, bacterial culture, salt, rennet and/or microbial enzyme, calcium chloride, lipase, colour), modified milk ingredients, water, glucose, sodium citrate and/or sodium phosphate, salt, acetic acid, sorbic acid, soya lecithin, carboxymethylcellulose, colour. May contain citric acid.
Applewood Smoked Bacon (6 strips)
Premium butter toasted bun.
Optional ingredients include: mustard, crinkle cut pickles, red onion, tomatoes, and lettuce.
So, now that I've shattered my husband's illusions, let's take a look at processed cheese.
Walter Gerber and Fritz Stettler were the first to process cheese in Switzerland in 1911. The cheese was shredded and heated with sodium citrate to produce a consistent product which firmed up upon cooling. The initial reason for this was to increase the shelf-life of cheese that was shipped to warmer climates.
Around the same time, James Lewis Kraft was experimenting with the heating and blending of different cheeses and was issued a patent in 1916 for cheese that was processed and then packed in glass jars or cans. In 1921 he was issued another patent for a loaf of processed cheese.
In 1935 Norman Kraft was issued a patent for the equipment used in new processes. Over the next few years additional improvements to the equipment and processing methods were issued. In 1944 Norman was granted a patent describing the production of processed cheese slices, a breakthrough in convenience.
Grilled cheese sandwiches: When I was a kid, I remember my mother putting home made strawberry jam in her grilled cheese sandwiches. I don't remember ever trying it; if I have anything in my grilled cheese, it's bacon. :-)
Sauces: Also when I was a kid, my mother would melt Cheez Whiz to pour over broccoli or asparagus on toast. Kids will eat anything with cheese on it. :-) My husband introduced me to cheesy peas, where you add a couple of cheese slices to cooked, drained peas and stir until melted.
Enhancing a dish: You can add processed cheese to macaroni and cheese to add a little omph, or to any casserole for that matter. Add it to mashed potatoes for extra flavour or as a topping for shepherd's pie. Throw a slice on top of an omelets.
Snacking: Spreadable processed cheese is great on crackers or as a filling for celery. I have also been known to throw a couple of slices of processed cheese over a plate of nachos and salsa and then microwave it until the cheese melts.
The possibilities are endless!
You can, in fact, make your own processed cheese and I've found a couple of links that give you step by step instructions:
From Living Strong we have: How to Make Processed Cheese
From America's Test Kitchen Feed we have How to Make American Cheese
at 8:00 AM