There are endless ways to enjoy cheese, but only one cheese could stand the test of being shipped overseas, taken to war, stored in a doomsday shelter, or taken on any number of adventures without refrigeration.
Canned cheese is a long-lasting processed cheese that can be stored for long periods, making it popular with those who enjoy hiking, camping, and boating. It comes in a variety of forms.
The story of canned cheese begins with James Kraft, who figured out how to store all that cheesy goodness safely in a tin and sent it to troops in the first world war. Cheese in a can is often associated with Americans, but the iconic Australian Bega canned cheese is known worldwide.
Why do people buy canned cheese?
It may not shock you to know that there is actual science behind our collective love for cheese. A chemical compound known as casein is found in dairy products. It’s a powerful pain reliever, and our brains react to casein by releasing a feeling of euphoria. It’s no wonder cheese can be addictive- eating cheese literally triggers the opioid receptors in your brain.
There are many ways to enjoy cheese, but the problem with dairy is that, usually, it needs to be refrigerated. It couldn’t be enjoyed on camping trips or long hikes or even by people in the outback who didn’t own refrigerators. Soldiers would go off to war and spend years without so much as tasting cheese. But soon the world of cheese would change forever. Enter canned cheese!
Canned cheese became possible just in time for WWI. The soldiers in the trenches faced many hardships, but now they could access the comforting endorphins that come from eating cheese. We hope it gave them a slither of solace among the pain and brutalities of war. To this day, Australian Army ration packs usually include some sort of canned cheese.
Canned cheese, with its lack of expiration dates and its ease of transport, is also popular with survivalists, people who prep for crises, an important aspect of which is building up a stash of food that will last a long time. The cheese market grew exponentially when we faced a worldwide pandemic, and canned cheese was included in that growth. There’s a pattern of humans turning to cheese when faced with calamity and chaos.
Canned Cheese for Nachos
Nachos are pretty much the ultimate food. You can make them a snack, side dish, entree or an entire meal. You can fancy them up or keep them simple. And perhaps the most important element of nachos is the cheese. Authentic nachos don’t have just grated cheese tossed on top. They’re made using a warm cheese sauce that spreads beautifully over your chips. Sometimes it includes flavours that add a bit of zing to your nachos.
Using canned cheese instead of making it from scratch saves time and money. Ideally, nacho cheese is easy to warm and spread without being too thin and watery, and, more importantly, it should taste good.
Bega Canned Cheese
Bega canned cheese has no expiry date and requires no refrigeration- no wonder it’s loved all around the world! You can cut it, grate it, melt it, or eat it right out of the can. Spread it on crackers or add it to a pizza. Bega canned cheese is a staple for those who often go a long time without a refrigerator or people who have a stash of food in preparation for potential emergencies.
Ahh, spray cheese. All the yummy flavour and versatility of cheese, with the novelty of an aerosol, can. This product can be controversial, mostly because it’s associated with the culture of processed, unhealthy foods in America (did you know that Americans eat 20 million pounds of cheese during the Superbowl? The week leading up to the Superbowl sees more sales of aerosol cheese than any other time!).
Like other canned cheeses, aerosol cheese is portable and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
Spray cheese isn’t as easy to come by in Australia, but it’s certainly out there. The whipped cream-like aerosol cans of cheese can be purchased mainly through novelty stores selling international snacks.