Kitchen Histories: The Velveeta Grilled Cheese

My latest Kitchen History post on Etsy is in celebration of April, which is National Grille Cheese Month.  I explore the secret–the and history–of the perfect grilled cheese.  Read it here, and you can read the archive of all my Etsy Kitchen History posts here.

When I was in elementary school, my mom would drive me to the neighboring township for sleepovers at my friend Kelly’s. One of my clearest memories from these visits was the lunch Kelly’s mom would prepare for us: grilled cheese. The cheese was creamier than any I’d ever had before, with a tanginess I couldn’t identify. Her method was a mystery, until one day I ambled through the kitchen while she got her ingredients ready…

This post deals largely with the history of Velveeta cheese, inspired by a vintage Velveeta slicer I found on Etsy.  Yesterday, I got a mysterious package in the mail, shipped overnight from Oregon.  Inside:


Yes, that’s a yellow wax seal stamped “Velveeta.”  There was a handwritten card that said “We noticed your love of vintage Velveeta cheese cutters and couldn’t resist diving into the vault to send you this little vintage gem.” It was signed “The Velveeta Team.”



In the box, there was a c. 1980’s “cheese cuber” and two pounds of Velveeta cheese. I couldn’t be happier.  It was such a sweet thing to do. And I’m simultaneously amazed that throughout history, man has created so many tools for slicing a semi-gelatinous foodstuff that is probably one of the easiest things in the world to cut.

But hell yeah I’m going to make some queso dip with this thing.

9 Responses to “Kitchen Histories: The Velveeta Grilled Cheese”

  • That’s fantastic! How sweet of the Velveeta people!

  • that’s so awesome, i want to be the person at a major food brand who reads blogs and sends gifts…like a Velveeta Santa Claus. ps, love your MSG lectures!

    • I know, right? I also just discovered that Velveeta makes a “queso blanco” flavor which is totally the 21st century equivalent of “old English spice” and all those weird 1950s flavors.

  • I think both of the above comments were sarcastic. There are no “free gifts” from companies who want you to write about them and get more people to eat… Velveeta.

    • I don’t think it was sarcasm. I was not paid off in cheese by the Velveeta company to write a glowing article. I published the article without any consent and contact from the Kraft company, and I think their reaction was sweet and amusing.

      blah blah blah. You’re just jealous of all the processed cheese product I now own.

      • Nope. I think it was sarcasm, but in any event all the free stuff you are getting is because they want you to write about it in your wonderful blog (that was not sarcasm), and you are.

        Meet you at Melt in Cleveland Heights?


        • Ha! Have you heard if you get a grilled cheese tattoo, melt gives you a discount for life??

          • So the discount lasts as long as the tattoo? I’ll take a pass… wouldn’t be kosher. The Kraft people are sending you some Oreos, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Mac and Cheese, Jello, Ritz Crackers and Oscar Meyer weiners…


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