Some people think I'm a food snob. I don't know why that is. I just like food without mystery ingredients. What's so wrong with that? The fresher, the better.
But then, on Friday, I was shopping and realized something. Something that indicated to me that I might just be a teensy bit of a food snob after all. I had NO clue where to find Velveeta cheese. I wanted to make that cheese dip that's so popular at parties, you see, because I was hosting a chapter board meeting at my house on Sunday. And I like that dip, but I've never made it, so there I was searching.
Not. A. Clue.
And I was too stubborn to stop and ask. (Or maybe I didn't want anyone to know what I was looking for. I had visions of Tony Bourdain going all Invasion of the Body Snatchers on me if he saw the stuff in my cart.) I figured out pretty quick that it wasn't refrigerated. And that's just wrong! What's in that stuff anyway?
So I wandered down to the chips. Nope, not there. I wandered back to the canned tomatoes (you know, because you pair it with Rotel). Nope, not there either.
I wandered past the macaroni and cheese. I never look at this stuff because I don't eat it. But before you think I'm an unrepetant snoot, the first meal I ever learned to cook, when I was about eight yrs old, was boxed macaroni and cheese. Loved the stuff! And I've made plenty of Hamburger Helper back in the day. Oh yes, used to go to Sam's Club and buy the stuff in bulk.
But somewhere along the way, I changed my stripes.
While I was searching for Velveeta, I remembered Government Cheese. Remember that? I think it was the gov't version of Velveeta, and they used to give it away. My parents used to get it, and we put it on crackers and who knows what else. Probably made grilled cheese sandwiches with it.
Finally, I arrived at the Velveeta. It sort of has it's own place in the store! It was down the aisle from the mac & cheese, and it comes in varieties now. Pepper Jack? That looked kind of good.
But then I saw the price. Seriously, cheese* that the gov't used to give away for free costs as much as gourmet cheese from France?! Mon Dieu! Somewhere, Julia Child is rolling in her grave. After deliberating, I chose the smaller package, 2% milk version. And forked over enough money for it to buy a hunk of brie.
What food do you consider funky? Do you use Velveeta? Remember free gov't cheese? And yes, I made the dip — and it was good! But now that I've gone searching for how the stuff is made, I don't think I'll be buying it very often…
*Actually, it's a “cheese product.” Kraft was sued for calling it cheese because real cheese has 51% cheese or more. Velveeta does not. They cook it with a lot of whey, and then it congeals into the stuff we know as Velveeta. And it did look like a shiny congealed mass of something yellow to me.