May is American Cheese Month! It is a time to celebrate and promote all the fantastic dairy farmers, cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers, and chefs who create delicious artisanal cheeses. For the love of American cheese, we would like to share its brief history, how it is processed, and why this industry deserves more attention.
History of American Cheese
The story behind this cheese dates back to the 1790s. Cheddar cheese was first produced by British colonists soon after they arrived in North America. The British immigrants brought with them their traditional cheesemaking techniques. American industry soon honed in on making cheddar. Then came James L. Kraft, who started experimenting with cheese and re-pasteurizing it, and the term "American Cheese" was brought about to refer to processed cheese.
How is American cheese made?
American cheese combines cheeses like cheddar and Colby and adds emulsifying agents and other ingredients to help it melt smoothly. The melted mixture is then piped into an extruder that produces long sheets of cheese. Once solidifies, they are cut into individual slices or formed into solid blocks.
Buy American cheese!
American Cheese Month was initially held in October, but in 2019, it was moved to May to support the needs of cheesemakers and retailers better. The American Cheese Education Foundation (ACEF) encourages all cheese lovers and cheesemakers to make donations to further cheese professionals' education in the industry. Buying American cheeses can go a long way! There is no better time to support our country's cheese producers.
At Sara's Boxes & Boards, we take this annual observance as the perfect opportunity to bring the goodness of American cheeses right here in O'Fallon through our hand-crafted charcuterie boards. We're delighted to work with local cheesemakers nationwide who make high-quality and delectable products. When you place an order from us in the future, we hope you'll look for some American artisan cheeses!
How are you celebrating American Cheese Month?