A Big Block of Cheese

These are troubling times, my friends. Amid all the insanity, every now and then you see a headline that makes you say, “Enough.” A simple sentence that signals your limit and leaves you questioning all that you thought you knew. A headline like this …

“Millennials Shun American Cheese.”

Wait. What?

Apparently Millennials are not so keen on the Kraft and now everything is topsy-turvy. According to the article, restaurant chains like Panera are bowing to pressure from Millennials and abandoning American cheese for a fancy combo including Gouda and Fontina. This is alarming news for the girl who is counting on the preservatives in my food to keep me alive forever.

Even McDonald’s is ready to roll out a less fake version of processed cheese to grace their signature Big Mac. The logic is that somehow the cheese is the problem with this artery-clogging menu option.

Umm, OK.

The truth is, American cheese is comfort.

The crinkle of the cellophane as you unwrap that individual slice. The distinctive orange-yellow color that Crayola should capture for posterity. The way the square bears the teeny-tiny lines around the edges from the machine that made it. It reminds me of my childhood; all warm, fuzzy and ooey-gooey. That’s because American cheese never pretends to be anything it’s not. It is manufactured to be the perfect melt and never disappoints.

And don’t even get me started on Velveeta.

I have a dare for these Millennials. Show up at a Super Bowl party with a steaming vat of Gouda cheese and watch the riot of the masses. People want to eat their Mexican Queso Dip and they want it now.

That big old block of Velveeta is a staple in my kitchen. When I labor over a dish, unable to tell what it needs for a little oomph, the answer is usually Velveeta. I admit, I don’t know what’s in it, but I do know that there are a lot more recalls of
lettuce than of processed cheese.

Then again, studies show that Millennials don’t eat cereal either so clearly we are at an impasse.

By all accounts, I am a dinosaur. I text in slow motion using just my index finger. I still have a land line (and a fax line, if we are being honest). I don’t own a Kindle, and I read the real newspaper every day and revel in the black ink all over my hands.

I ate SPAM for God’s sake.

We Boomers have so little from the good ol’ days. Dunkin’ Donuts wants to pretend they only serve coffee. IHOP lost its mind last year. And kids don’t know how to write a letter and put a stamp on it.

When you think about it, unnatural cheese is just about all we have left. So, I will preserve my right to preservatives until the bitter end.

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