American cheese is a polarizing issue. On the one hand, you have the American Cheese Enthusiasts (let's call them ACEs), who argue that American cheese makes for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich because of the smooth and velvety way it melts. On the other hand, you have the American Cheese Haters (there's just no good acronym for this one, I'm sorry), who ask the reasonable question: What exactly makes this technicolor square of plastic cheese? Among those who fall into the latter camp is the cheese company Tillamook, that has submitted a White House petition to change the name of American cheese. American cheese, they argue, is distinctly un-American, so it shouldn't be allowed to have the word "American" in it.
I love non-issues like this. Nothing gets me riled up like a good old fashioned, made-up debate. The petition currently has 499 (500 now, because I bandwagoned) signatures on it, which means it only needs 99,500 more to get to its goal of 100,000. That's not just some arbitrary number, by the way; once a petition meets the threshold of 100,000 signatures, the White House actually has to respond. Even if the petition is about cheese, the White House still must provide a response. What a time to be alive, am I right?
This is straight from the petition:
We the people of the United States of America are being falsely represented by our namesake “American Cheese.” With as many as 18 ingredients like sorbic acid and sodium phosphate, the FDA says processed “American Cheese” can’t even be called cheese. Rather it must be referred to as a “cheese product.” Is that the America our forefathers like Honest Abe Lincoln had in mind? Out of respect for the hard work and integrity that our nation was built upon, we respectfully ask that these processed, plastic-wrapped slices of deception be stripped of America's name.
Is it just me, or does Tilamook maybe have a point? Maybe if our country's name is going to be associated with a kind of cheese, it should at least qualify as actual cheese. Incidentally, the wording on the petition is really top notch, and I really hope that Tilamook retained lawyers to draft the language. Also, I think "Plastic-Wrapped Slices of Deception" is going to be the name of my new punk band.
But, if we're not going to call it American cheese anymore, what are we going to call it? Don't worry guys, I came up with some options. Some of them are a bit cheesy, but there's no whey they're all bad.
1. Grilled Cheese Cheese
Like, this is basically what it is anyway, right? Why don't we just call a spade a spade?
I like this because it'll ensure mishaps and mayhem at family barbecues, and I love shenanigans. You'll ask your dad to pass the "cheese," but he'll hand you the cheese, and you'll be like, "No, I meant the 'cheese,'" and it'll be hilarious.
3. Canadian Cheese
If we don't like something, it's cool to outsource it to Canada, right? That's an OK thing to do?
4. Indie Cheese
Because the slices are wrapped individually. It's all independent and doing its own thing like an indie artist.
5. Neon Cheese
It's basically neon, and neon is so hot right now, so there's really no way this name could go wrong.
Check out Tillamook's video on the matter here: