Friday, August 5, 2011

sargento vs. processed cheese. taste test. who will win?

By Jennifer (Double Duty Mommy) at 9:43 AM
Grilled cheese and cheeseburgers are big in my family but I don't really ever think twice about the cheese I buy. We've always bought the normal American classic sliced cheese. I mean, why not, the commercials say "made 100% from milk" don't they? So how bad can it be.
Recently I tried Sargento Sharp cheddar Natural cheese slices and wow what a difference.

I'd like to go over some not so awesome things about processed cheese. I was shocked and pretty disgusted with the ingredients and how the cheese is made.

Processed cheese slices are made with emulsifiers such as Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, and Sodium Phosphate. It usually has some type of preservative such as Sorbic Acid also - that way you don't have to refrigerate it! Did you know that - you don't have to put processed cheese in the fridge?! Well it's true, some cheeses sit on a store shelf for months without any refrigeration before it's ever sold!

Typically processed cheeses are heated to 180 degrees (which of course makes it into a liquid) and then pumped into plastic bags where they are then run over by a series of rollers to get that pretty little slice. The cooking process they use to the temperature and the fact it's cooked with direct steam strips the cheese of delicate flavors you may have been able to get had they not not all that.
Oh and processed cheese has so much sodium (hence the smell of salt) at 250 milligrams (yes!) per each 19 gram slice.
Key words to remember. Processed cheese is: MADE FROM cheese (and other ingredients). Uh... yeah I'll pass :)

Now when we look at natural cheese like Sargento Natural Cheese slices it is never made with processed ingredients. It only contains natural ingredients such as milk, cheese cultures, enzymes and salt. Because of the ingredients it has to be put in the refrigerator.

When you purchase natural cheese you can rest assured it has been aged to perfection and has been tested by get this- professional cheese graders to ensure the highest quality cheese. It taste like it came from a block of cheese because it did come from a block of cheese. Cut and immediately packaged so you can get the freshest, yummiest cheese! Slices are commonly used melted on burgers, sandwiches, lasagna, pizza and so so much more but it is never melted during the actual cooking process of being made at the Sargento factories.
Sargento natural cheeses are 21 gram slices at only 130 milligrams of sodium so it's definitely a healthier choice to go with a natural food.
Again, key words to remember about natural cheese: it IS real cheese!!

Have you ever really looked at processed sliced cheese? It is pretty shiny and I'm not talking with the plastic wrap on them. Natural cheese has a deeper color to it and is non-glossy in appearance all together.

Definitely there is a huge difference when you touch the Sargento Natural cheese and processed cheese slices. Natural cheese breaks organically while you can bend the processed cheese and break it in a straight line. What is natural about that?!

Processed cheese also feels very smooth and sorta rubbery and pliable. Sargento cheese has a rougher texture. Exactly like a block of cheese feels. Of course the texture will vary from cheese to cheese but the sharp cheddar that I felt has a rougher texture to it compared to the processed cheese slices.

First off the smells are completely different. The processed cheese smells almost salty. It's made with milk but I couldn't detect a hint of milk smell in it. Processed cheese is usually lacking in the aroma department

Natural cheese has an array of smells depending on which type of cheese you are smelling but either way you there is a distinct aroma you will be able to get from them. The range of smells can be almost earthy, nutty and/or fruity.

We loved tasting the cheeses. I will be the first to admit that I have never liked eating cheese from the blocks of cheese that are in the grocery stores. Maybe it was the brand or type of cheeses I've tasted, I don't know. While tasting the Sargento Natural Cheese slices I fell in love. I sorta thing maybe it was the thickness of the slices I usually get off the block that made me not like it? The Sargento slices are not too thick but not too thin, it's the perfect slice for munching on or melting on burgers.
I thought my kids would like the processed better but no joke, Kendall (my 1 yr old) through it on the ground! Makenna (my 6 1/2 yr old) also liked the real cheese a lot better too. After tasting the cheese by itself I made grilled cheese sandwiches and both my daughters ate a whole sandwich without complaints or arguments!

Just as the smells vary cheese to cheese. You may taste fruity, spicy or to sharp. The sharp cheddar slices are definitely sharp and the taste lingers for a bit which makes if ever more delicious. The most dominant taste of processed cheese is very salty.

Sargento has definitely converted my family over and shed a ton of light to what we've been eating. I will ONLY be buying natural Sargento cheeses from now on.

They do cost a little more but the health of my family is more important then money and plus the natural cheese taste better so it doesn't both me to spend more money on food that we will enjoy!

This post has been compensated by Sargento and TheMotherhood. All opinions are 100% my very own as always. I would never post anything that I don't actually like.

7 commented:

Marcie W. on August 5, 2011 at 11:26 AM said...

We are HUGE Sargento fans here in our house! I usually buy the reduced fat packages for us and they're just as yum!

Josh and Kassi Nelson on August 6, 2011 at 11:53 AM said...

Sargento is awesome. I also reeeally love Tillamook!

Candace April on August 12, 2011 at 10:25 PM said...

I am a total cheese snob! We buy a lit of our cheese at a specialty shop but get supermarket cheeses for everyday use. Love Sargento's for sandwiches. Also love that they make Asiago!

Kathy on August 20, 2011 at 12:08 PM said... totally ruined my daily grilled ham and cheese sandwich ritual! I didn't know what was in the processed cheese...
I'll add Sargentos to my list this week and let you know how my new sandwiches taste!

Terri on August 20, 2011 at 5:56 PM said...

I love your approach to evaluating the differences! I'm in agreement; Sargento offers wonderful cheeses!

Mrs.Smitty on August 23, 2011 at 4:15 PM said...

Sargento loving family here too! I honestly don't know how processed cheese looks, feels or smells because I haven't eaten it since I was 4 or 5. I just refused to eat it at that age and haven't looked back. My husband is blissfully ignorant (he wouldn't care one way or the other) and my toddler has never had the chance to even try processed cheese!

tubbytelly at gmail dot com on September 8, 2011 at 7:26 PM said...

I don't think this is a fair fight...real cheese will always win.

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