Formerly regarded as food for the affluent in parts of the world due to its cost, cheese has become a common ingredient in recipes. This development brought forth varying cheese products like processed, filled cheese, snacks, spreads, flavoring, etc.
Natural cheese is made by taking milk through the fermentation process in the presence of lactic acid bacteria and an enzyme known as rennet. On the other hand, cheese is made by adding cheese to other ingredients such as salt, sugar, vegetable oils, emulsifiers, preservatives, and colorings.
Processed cheese products are usually recognizable as they are sold in individually wrapped slices, blocks, or jars with packaging material showing the list of ingredients.
In the Philippines, around 1981, Kraft Foods launched a processed cheese brand called EDEN. This brand is now widely known. You can easily find Eden cheese in any grocery store around. So, here are facts you need to know before buying Eden cheese on your next visit to the grocery store, starting with the most pertinent question- what kind of cheese is Eden?
What Kind of Cheese is Eden?
Eden is a brand of cheese product labeled by the manufacturers as a processed, filled cheese food. It is available in a 225g block which can be grated or sliced for cooking and baking. Eden cheese is also available in the form of a spread.
Is Eden Cheese Real Cheese?
No, Eden is not real cheese. As we observe from the nutritional information on the packaging material, Eden is not 100% cheese. Unlike real cheese, Eden is classified as a processed cheese product.
Real cheeses are made from the fermentation of raw, unpasteurized milk, solidified with the enzyme “rennet.” Real cheeses are essentially free of additional ingredients except for salt and natural food colors.
On the other hand, processed cheese is not 100% cheese; they are typically made up of 60% cheese or less. They contain a combination of cheese and other ingredients, including unfermented dairy products, salt, sugar, vegetable oils, emulsifiers, preservatives, and colorings. The result is a product with an extended shelf life and improved flavors, color, and texture.
In addition, processed cheese products have gained popularity because they melt easily without separating. They are readily available and less costly than natural or real cheeses.
Is Eden Cheese a Cheddar Cheese?
No, Eden cheese is not cheddar cheese. It is marketed as a processed cheese product made from high-grade cheddar cheese and other food additives. Widely accepted cheese products are usually manufactured using blends of real cheeses and additional ingredients; they are not pure cheeses.
So, Eden cheese has to be 100% cheddar cheese for it to be called cheddar cheese. Similarly, if a brand of processed cheese product is manufactured using a blend of mozzarella cheese and other ingredients, we cannot say the product is mozzarella cheese, can we?
Can I use Eden Cheese instead of cheddar cheese?
Yes, you can use Eden cheese instead of cheddar cheese. Unlike some other processed cheese, Eden cheese contains some natural cheese, which is why it is one of the most preferred processed cheeses.
In addition, Eden cheese gives your dish a creamy feel and rich taste, similar to what you get when using cheddar cheese. So the next time your recipe calls for cheddar cheese, you can use Eden cheese.
What kind of cheese is similar to Eden Cheese?
American cheese and Velveeta cheese are popular brands of processed cheese, similar to Eden cheese.
Does Eden Cheese Expire?
Yes, Eden cheese expires. Like other processed food products, Eden cheese has both the production date and best-before date printed on the packaging material. And as with all foods, it is always best to consume Eden cheese within the recommended dates as indicated on the product package.
Moreover, processed cheese products typically last longer than many real cheeses as they contain added preservatives that inhibit mold growth and slow spoilage.
However, your Eden cheese can go bad even before the expiry date if it comes in contact with contaminants or is not properly stored. Signs that your cheese product has gone bad include abnormal taste, flavor, or color. It is advised that you trash any food you suspect has gone bad, so you don’t become a victim of food poisoning.
Does Eden Cheese melt?
Yes, Eden is a kind of processed cheese that melts. Its popularity is partly due to its excellent melting properties and rich, creamy taste.
Should I refrigerate Eden Cheese?
You may or may not refrigerate Eden cheese. It is totally up to you! However, refrigeration can help extend Eden cheese’s shelf life by a couple of weeks.
Is Eden Cheese Healthy?
As mentioned earlier, Eden is a processed, filled cheese product and so cannot be termed as “healthy” in the real sense of it.
Generally, cheeses are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, essential to maintain heart and metabolic health. They are also good sources of proteins, vitamins like riboflavin, retinol, cobalamin, and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, zinc, etc. But due to the kind of cheese Eden is (processed cheese food), there are other ingredients (added to an amount of real cheese) that may not necessarily be healthy for your body, especially as you advance in age.
For a healthy diet, all processed food products are classified under “foods to be sparingly consumed” because they are high in calories and saturated fat and often contain chemical additives which may accumulate over time, posing a danger to your health.
People with milk allergies or certain food intolerances may also have to check with their dieticians before taking in dairy products such as cheese and processed cheese.
Our Best Eden Cheese Recipe
This is where we get to share our favorite Eden cheese recipe with you. Yes, I know you think Eden is a kind of cheese perfect for sandwiches but have you tried this yummy no-bake cheesecake made with Eden cheese? It is delicious and super easy to make. As the name implies, you don’t even need to bake it! See the recipe below.
For the crust:
- 10-12 full sheets of Graham Crackers
- ½ cup of melted unsalted butter (to add some moistness to the graham crackers and make it easier to press tightly into the pie dish’s bottom)
- 2 tbsp. powdered brown sugar
For the filling:
- One 225g pack of softened Eden cream cheese
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 tsp. of unflavored gelatin
- ½ tsp. of vanilla essence
For the topping:
Fresh or canned fruits of your choice
The cheesecake crust
- Grind the graham crackers to a smooth, fine texture using a food processor, as this will work best to give fine crumbs; the graham crackers must be finely ground to make your crust pack together more tightly, reducing the chance of crumbling and cracking.
- Transfer your cracker crumbs into a bowl, add powdered brown sugar and melted butter, then combine thoroughly with your fingers until it feels very pliable.
- Press the crust tightly into the center and up the sides of a 7-inch cake pan (you can use a removable bottom pan if you have one).
- Refrigerate until it is set.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whip the heavy cream into stiff peaks.
- In another bowl, beat the sugar, vanilla essence, and cream cheese until it is well combined and light.
- Dissolve some unflavored gelatin in 3 tsp of water, then heat in a small pan for a minute. (Alternatively, put the gelatin mixture in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute), then add to the mix in step 2.
- Gently fold the mixture into the whipped cream and pour it into the crust-lined cake pan. Make sure you smoothen the top of the filling using an offset spatula.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours. After refrigerating, you can choose to eat your cheesecake plain or decorate it with whipped cream and fresh/canned fruits.
Cheese is one cooking ingredient you want to keep handy; it adds a rich and flavorful twist to a simple dish. Unfortunately, getting pure cheese may not be easy, depending on your purse. However, processed cheese products like Eden are readily available- and affordable too!
Plus, many of them come out great in recipes like the one we shared. So now knowing what kind of cheese Eden cheese is, would you love to try it out, or would you rather stick to your good old natural cheeses? It’s left to you to weigh your options.