Product: Cheez Whiz Original
Manufacturer: Kraft Canada
The Position: Discover the creamy, cheesy flavour of real Cheddar cheese
Ingredients: modified milk ingredients, cheese (milk, modified milk ingredients, bacterial culture, salt, calcium chloride, colour, rennet, and or microbial enzymes), water, maltodextrin, sodium phosphates, salt, sodium alginate, ground mustard, spice, colour, ascorbic acid, lactic acid.
Analysis: Whenever I think of Cheez Whiz I think of my sister. She used to spread a thick layer of it on white bread and then sprinkle small pieces of bacon on top, broil until lightly browned and called it a ‘cheese dream’. My personal history was the requisite celery stick accompaniment.
There are many misconceptions about Cheez Whiz mostly around the idea that it is a fake food, synthesized in a lab somewhere. Truth be told, Cheez Whiz is made with milk and cheese so it does contain some protein, calcium, B vitamins, phosphorus, and other nutrients found in milk.
It gets its distinctive bright orange colour from mustard, paprika extract and annatto; all plant based colours making it free of artificial colours as well as artificial flavours; all good things.
Where Cheez Whiz leaves me with a sense of lack is in its flavour and overall nutritional profile. There’s no mistaking this processed cheese product with cheese, it is not; the taste buds don’t lie. Cheez Whiz is to real cheese as gold coin-styled ‘chocolate’ is to a fine Swiss chocolate truffle. Am I being a snob? I don’t think so.
You’ll get lots more protein, calcium, B vitamins and other nutrients from real cheese, and in my experience, there are very few, who don’t like the taste of cheese, including children, the very group this product is marketed to.
Where to buy: any major grocery store, and many smaller convenience stores too.
Alternative: real cheese, any cheese, and, with a little effort, you can easily make a cheese sauce with a little butter, flour, milk and cheese for vegetables and bump up the nutrition; hey, that’s how I used to eat my broccoli.
Take it or leave it: pass on this and swing, or rather run, don’t way, by the deli or dairy section for the real stuff
Photo credit: Kraft Canada