I'm Eating What?! Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Ethical Eating

I'm Eating What?! Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread

​Thanks to a hairstylist-in-training Crystal Amos from Aveda Institute in Davie (who not only does a wicked blowout but also happens to be the daughter of the Jamaica House Restaurant owners), I found that the pasteurized processed cheese spread in a can I almost dismissed as a useless food item is actually a staple in many Jamaican diets.

When I told her my editor made me eat the stuff for this column and I found it even less appetizing than Velveeta, she explained that slices of cheese aren't commonplace in Bob Marley's birthplace and most of the population there thinks of a can when they think of cheese. "But the stuff barely tastes like cheese!" I argued, then added, "And though the word 'spread' is in its name, it came out in a big hunk and didn't even melt after a minute in the microwave!"

Amos agreed, but said people still put a big portion of it between two slices of butter bread and consider it a sandwich. And she told me they also put a helping of the orangey stuff atop "bun," bread with various fruits and spices. "They even serve it at the restaurant," she claimed. 

Testing her theory, I Googled "bun and cheese" and guess what popped up? Yup, a photo of the very can I have in my hands, the one with the red label showing two cows and the words "keep refrigerated after opening" on it. 

Now why I'd have to refrigerate any food that doesn't even slightly spill out of its open container is beyond me, but who am I to argue? After all, what's the harm? It's not like the plastic-looking stuff was going to get any harder. Or tastier.

But, hey, who am I to pass judgment? My relatives think borscht and creamed herring make for tasty eats. Yuck. 

As to who should eat pasteurized processed cheese spread, however, let's leave it to people who don't have access to a hunk of Brie or, well... Jamaicans.

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Riki Altman

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