Photo: megan ann (faster panda kill kill), flickr
EAST COAST, USA—What food comes in a loaf, melts like a dream and is shelf stable? Velveeta, of course! But the processed cheese product that coats teeth and adheres to the roof of so many mouths may soon be hard to find. Kraft Foods, which manufactures Velveeta, has warned consumers that one of its most recognizable products is in short supply in some areas.
“How can this happen?” asked a distraught Tim Worthy. “I just created a Super Bowl event on Facebook. How will I make my famous nachos? And what will I use to hide my dog’s anti-seizure medication?”
In an effort to fan the fire of overreaction, Kraft dubbed the dairy deficit “Cheesepocalypse” and started a website tracking the availability of the rubbery substance at www.cheesepocalypse.org.
“We want the great cheese-eating population of America to know it can count on Velveeta in its time of need,” said Kraft spokeswoman Cheryl Master. Canada doesn’t appear on the map. When asked whether there’s a shortage north of the border, Master seemed surprised. “Oh! Did Health Canada’s Health Products and Food Branch rule to officially recognize the cheese byproduct category?”
Skeptics doubt the authenticity of the shortage, hinting that Kraft Foods is trying to drive up sales in advance of Super Bowl Sunday. “Everyone knows you can’t watch the big game without queso dip. What’s next, a shortage of Ro-Tel canned tomatoes with chilis?” queried consumer watchdog, Bill Reid, referring to the other dip ingredient. “Velveeta is to the Super Bowl as beer is to a frat party and Kraft knows that. This is just a ploy to sell more cheese.”
Kraft Foods insists the shortage is real and not a marketing stunt, but Master was vague about the reasons behind the shortfall. “I’m told it has something to do with the drivers. Or the manufacturing. Maybe an annatto issue? In any case, it’s expected to be temporary and Velveeta should be filling store shelves and stomachs again in no time.”
Combining traditional cheese-making and science, Velveeta was one of the first Frankencheeses available to consumers in the 1920s. The product is considered a forerunner in the culinary ignorance and obesity that now pervade North America.