Cheez Whiz

When I was 19, on my first day at my first post-secondary institution, I formed an instant and profound friendship with Cindy. Cindy was a smokin’ hot, hilariously funny, warm, wild, wonderful woman. Cindy was obsessed with two things: Cheez Whiz and bar bands.

One or two evenings a week she’d drag me down to one of the local beverage and entertainment establishments, very early, so she could watch the band set up. She’d chat and flirt and we’d usually get a free drink or two. Once the band started playing Cindy would dance front and centre as close to the band as she could get. She’d stay there all night while I went about the usual beverage and entertainment establishment activities with other friends who would come in at a more reasonable hour.

Cindy would stay until the last song and then come find me. Sometimes, she was ready to go home, sometimes she wanted to hang around a bit longer to chat and flirt and have one more drink with the boys in the band. That’s as far as it ever went. There were never any green-room or equipment-truck visits. 

Eventually we’d head home, either to her place or mine, whichever was closer. If we went to my place we’d make a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box. If we went to hers we’d make a stack of buttery toast with Cheez Whiz. Those were the good old days when I could snarf down a mountain of junk food in the middle of the night without any adverse effects.

Cindy was never without Cheez Whiz. She ate Cheez Whiz with everything: bread, crackers, burgers, hot dogs, noodles, soup, chips, on a spoon, on Kraft Dinner for that extra bit of fat & salt, and, of course, she never had a vegetable, cooked or raw, without Cheez Whiz.

My daughter, who has led a pseudofood-sheltered life, always “throws a spaz” when she sees a Cheez Whiz ad on TV. “Oh. My. Gawd!” she’ll snort pretentiously. “What the hell is that stuff? And who would actually eat it?” She was completely appalled when I told her I used to engage in Cheez Whiz orgies in my youth. I remind her of this every time she mocks the Whiz.

She also takes great delight in reading Cheez Whiz (pasteurized process cheese sauce) ingredients[1] out loud to me sometimes when we’re grocery shopping and then pointing at me and laughing. Teenagers are so easily amused.

My Cheez Whiz adventures lasted just a little over six months. It was a week after spring break. Cindy had gone home the week before to whatever godforsaken burg her family hailed from, so she had a lot of dancing to make up for. We were out late Saturday night; had the usual toast and Cheez Whiz feast at her place and conked out near day-break. I stumbled off home early Sunday afternoon after we’d polished off a couple Cheez Whiz omelettes and a gallon or two of tea.

I never had Cheez Whiz again. Cindy didn’t come to school the next day. I called her. No answer. I went by her place. Nobody home. Days went by. The school couldn’t tell me anything.

I finally tracked down her family (which wasn’t that easy in the pre-computer days). I called. I spoke to her Dad who was gruff and would only tell me that Cindy wasn’t coming back to school and that no, she couldn’t come to the phone because she was working and yes, he’d take a message, but she wouldn’t be calling me back.

I wrote a couple of letters. I never heard a thing.

Anyway, this post was supposed to be about Cheez Whiz, not vanishing friends, but the two are forever and irrecoverably tied together in my psyche.

What the hell happened to you, Groupie? 

[1] Milk And Part-Skim Milk, Water, Whey, Milkfat, Sodium Phosphate, Contains Less Than 2% Of Dried Corn Syrup, Salt, Worcestershire Sauce (Vinegar, Water, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Salt, Sugar, Caramel Color, Dried Garlic, Spice, Anchovies, Tamarino, Natural Preservative, Annatto (Color), Oleoresin Paprika, Enzymes


44 responses to “Cheez Whiz

  1. Gosh I never realized how good that stuuf is. It’s practically a wonder food with all the Health Canada food groups in one place.
    Dairy, fish, veggies,and fruit.
    I think when I stock the survival shelter it’s just water and Cheez whiz. Just think the stuff never goes bad either so it will still be around when there’s nothing else for the cockroaches to eat.

  2. KD? YUK! Who needs that crap? Just cook up your choice of pasta (Rotini is my current favourite) and melt some Cheez Whiz into it. Yum!

    Get ready for JB. He’s going to dump all over the Whiz.

    Then there’s hollandaise sauce. I knew a guy (true story) who couldn’t get enough of it, much like Cindy and Cheez Whiz. One time at a dental checkup, his dentist was horrified at the condition of his teeth, and asked him how they got to be so bad.
    “I dunno, Doc,” they guy said, “maybe it’s the hollandaise sauce. I eat it with everything, even by the spoonful out of a jar.”
    “Well,” the dentist replied, “we’re going to have to pull out all your teeth and replace them with chrome dentures.”
    “Chrome dentures?” my friend (yeah, he was my friend, okay? I told you it’s a true story) asked. “Why chrome?”
    “Haven’t you heard?” the dentist replied, “There’s no plates like chrome for the hollandaise.”

    Ba-dum-BUM! I’m here ’til Thursday. Try the veal, with Cheez Whiz or hollandaise.

  3. Cindy would make an interesting short story project, in which you could write most of the story and we could all write alternative endings.

  4. ughhh How I hate Cheez Whiz; if you were eating that I can understand why you bacame a vegetarian… though of course I suppose it’s ok for a vegetarian to eat.

    Cheez Whiz and a disappearing friend. My what a life you’ve led!

    And Zoom is right, that has the makings of a great short story.

  5. *snickers… groans* good one Bob.

    i LOVE cheez whiz.

    infact, you know the large jar at the store? yeah i was going thru 1 every 2 weeks when i was pregnant (i craved processed cheese). i love it on toast and crackers.

    i make mac and cheese casserole with it also. mix that in there and top with a crap load of shredded cheese and bread crumbs. MMmmM.. you should make that for the teenager and when she says she likes it you can laugh at her and tell her she is eating the whiz LOL

  6. I used to LOVE the stuff! I’d buy HUGE jars at Cotsco 🙂 ditto for KD. Then I became concerned about what I eat and haven’t touched it since. I make my own macaroni/cheese now.

    That’s so strange about your friend Cindy. I hope she’s happy wherever she is.

  7. OYE! screw you Bobbiekins! I grew up on KD and still covet the stuff! And it’s true, CheezWhiz in KD is artery clogging heaven!

    and XUP, you so gotta do some online hunting for Cindy… and keep us up to date… Think goggle, facebook, canada411…

  8. Worcestershire sauce in Cheez Whiz? THAT’s why I love my mac’n cheese casserole. It’s the worcestershire sauce that gives it the cheez whiz taste I tell you.

  9. Cheeze Whiz and Velveeta are both highly-processed cheese-like concoctions, but they are not the same. Each has a distinct consistency, flavor and taste that differs from the other. It’s kinda sad that I know the intricate details and differences of both. 😉

  10. Thatz d sad part of life na- people just vanish. Unlike in movies, they never come back.
    But, with world wide web, u never know.
    May be Cindy is reading this post from somewhere:-

  11. Bandobras – Really, eh. I couldn’t believe all that stuff was in Cheez Whiz, either. I always just thought it was melty cheese mixed with plastic. Anchovies… who knew?

    Lebowski – I guess if you’re going to go for a load of salt and fat, you might as well take it to the max.

    Bob – I haven’t heard hide nor hair from JB in ages — have you? I sent him an email the other day. I hope he checks in the whizz on the Whiz. Somehow I knew you were a Whiz guy. It does strange things to your sense of humour, you know.

    Zoom – People keep suggesting short story ideas to me now. It makes me believe (contrary to statistical evidence) that people are actually reading my short stories. I’m fiddling with one now – not Cindy or bus people related – which I may post, so be warned!!! Meanwhile, I’ll begin processing the Cindy story suggestion.

    Jazz – Yes my life is full of intrigue and processed foods — all the makings of great fiction. It’s actually funny how these things sometimes spring to mind in a neat little package that just begs to be blogged.

    Julia – I haven’t really thought about hunting her down after all this time. It was 6 months of my life decades and decades and decades ago. I would wonder if she even remembered me. Plus she had a very common last name. Plus she might have gotten married and changed it. BUT, just for fun I might give it a shot one day.

    Jobthingy – PLEASE don’t encourage Bob. He’ll be on your blog next with all his new routines and then he’ll never leave and you’ll have to start feeding him (rotini & Whiz) and listen to all his stories and he’ll start leaving his toothbrush there and spare socks and stuff and next thing you know he’ll be living in the crawl space under your house and you’ll never get rid of him. And, I could never feed my child this stuff even if she didn’t already have a digestive disorder.

    UA – What’s not to love? Humans have a natural affiinity for salty, fatty foods — it goes back to primeval times when we needed to load up on these things to survive. All our favorite foods are salt and/or fat related. Without them our diet would be very boring. But Cheez Whiz we don’t need — especially when there are so many other fine, fine real cheeses out there to enjoy, right?

    Kitty – So many Whiz lovers, so little time. I’m really surprised. Really! And, yes, I’m thinking I’ll have to at least try to find this woman…somehow

    Ellie – CP has answered some of that for you in her comment, but while Whiz is pasteurized processed cheese sauce, Velveeta is pasteurized processed cheese product. It’s a blend of cheddar, mozzarella and swiss cheese (products/flavours) Ingredients in Velveeta: MILK, WATER, MILKFAT, WHEY, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, ALGINATE, SODIUM CITRATE, APOCAROTENAL (COLOR), ANNATTO (COLOR), ENZYMES, CHEESE CULTURE. Velveeta has 410 mg of sodium and 6 grams of fat per serving — pretty much the same as Cheez Whiz

    Skylark – I gotta tell you, I’m shocked and awed that so many people actually eat this stuff. Shocked AND Awed. I guess they wouldn’t keep making it, if it wasn’t being consumed, but still…shocked and awed

    CP – Thanks. I’ve elaborated a bit on your description, but please rest assured that this was not something I knew — I had to scour the internet for this information. Now you can add to your personal knowledge database.

    Lost – Ha ha. Is it you? Because you’re lost… and she’s lost… get it? ha ha. Yes, there have been plenty of people that have vanished from my life over the years, but those were mostly in completely expected ways — school ends, we go our separate ways; or you break up with a boyfriend and one or both of you move to other towns; or just the usual thing where people move on with their lives in different directions. BUT this one was so, so weird. There we are having rockn’ good fun one day and then POOF, she’s gone the next. Without a word. I suspect there was something going on with her family for which I never got the whole story. She was always kind of peculiar about discussing them. I know she didn’t have a happy time growing up — she was the only girl, youngest of 4…something…something…I can’t even remember. I just remember thinking at the time that her family had only let her go to school because she’d begged mercilessly and they were just looking for an excuse to yank her out. Maybe they finally saw her marks or something. Who knows.

  12. ha! someone left a jar of cheeze whiz at our house and grace fell in love with it – she now likes that kind of “cheese” the best. i’ll have to invent a reason why we can’t buy it after this jar is gone – have you seen the sodium levels on that stuff?
    my first trimester with one of the girls, i craved cheeze whiz on rice cakes. gag.

    have you ventured into facebook territory to find your friend? what an odd story! were you considered a bad influence on her?

  13. I think you should try and find Cindy. After all these years it would be interesting to see what happen to her.

    I don’t think I ever had Cheez Whiz. What is that stuff that squirts out the can? That is pretty gross.

  14. i was thinking facebook also. you would be surprised who you can find there. or just on google for that matter.

    LOL! i dont have a house for bob to live under.. but if i see him on my 5th story balcony im gonna get scared

  15. So weird! I was just thinking about Cheez Whiz the other day. Mainly where is it?!? I have not come across it ‘in forever’.

    Was it only in Canada?

    ooohhh…mystery thing with Cindy. Have you searched for her on facebook? Funnily enough some friends and I from elementary have a facebook page for one friend who left in grade 5 and we never heard from again. We’re still looking!

  16. Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box —- OMG I had completely forgotten about these! I used to LOVE these. Right up there with Kraft Dinner. My mother always prepared everything from scratch. And I do mean everything. So crap like this was always a treat!

  17. Meanie – I’m very curious as to how someone accidentally leaves a jar of Cheez Whiz at someone’s house?? And yes, see above – sodium level is 480 mg per serving (28ish g). And, no if anyone was a bad influence on anyone it was her on me. Like I mentioned previously,she has a very common last name, too so it would be difficult to track her and I doubt I would even recognize her after all this time. I’ll see.

    Cedar – I think you can get squirty Cheez Whiz, too, but I’m talking about the stuff in the jar — like the picture at the end of my post. And okay, okay, okay since everyone thinks I should try to find Cindy, I will make it my mission in life. What will I do when I find her? Send her a note: Hey remember me? We knew each other for 6 months as teenagers?? Do you think she’ll remember?

    Jobthingy – I don’t think Bob could make to the 5th floor, so you’re probably safe.

    Helen – according to my research, Cheez Whiz is owned by Kraft, but distributed to many countries including the US. I’m not sure if you have Kraft Dinner though — that may be strictly a Canadian plague??

    Lebowski – Yes, ketchup is what gives it some flavour AND adds the all important vegetable to your meal

    UP – Chef Boyardee pizza in a box was pretty much a staple when I first left home. It was the ultimate late night snack. Life was good back in them product-info ignorant days…sigh…

  18. Alright. I am totally sucked in and dying to know what happened with this girl. It’s made all the more mysterious to me by her dad’s odd behavior on the phone. Asserting then and there she wouldn’t be calling you back??

    I vote for you giving finding her a shot for fun. You know, if there was an actual vote-thing going on.

    Mmmmm. In my youth? Cheez Whiz on Ritz Crackers? Be still my heart.

    (Do you think maybe she got pregnant? Somewhere besides a green room or an equipment truck? That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear about a dad yanking his daughter out of school and seemingly hiding her away from the world….)

  19. Yes, I suppose it does sound strange that someone left cheez whiz at my house. We had guests for the weekend and their kids are very picky eaters……they tend to bring a lot of their own food when they visit so I don’t have to buy “specialty” items. We’ve had a lot of things left behind from this kind of thing – Coke, that squirty chocolate mix stuff and a bible are a few items that are collecting dust from such visits.

  20. Lesley – The strange thing is that if they were going to yank her out of school, why not do it while she was home for spring break (the week before). And how does it happen that I leave her like 2:00 pm on the Sunday and she’s gone by Monday morning? If she’d had any inkling they were even coming to visit or get her she would have said and hidden out at my place or something. I’m pretty much 100% sure she wasn’t pregnant. She had zero interest in anything that could have gotten her that way. Now I feel obligated to hunt her down. It’s going to be a challenge unless I contacted her family. They’re from a small town and I’m sure some of the brothers or even the parents would still be there. Scary family, though…

    Meanie – coke, squirty chocolate and Cheez Whiz and a bible, eh? Now there are the makings of a short story!! You go. Let me know when it’s done. I want to read it.

  21. Xup: Yes I think when people bond over things like Cheez Whiz it is a lifetime memory. I remember a bonding moment over a lemon and some salt. Those were the days my friend…I thought they never end.

  22. When I was a kid, I went through a phase when I ate Cheez Whiz and ketchup sandwiches.

    On store-bought white bread, of course.

    (It’s actually not bad…I could eat one of those right now, actually).

  23. see i thought pregnant also. but now that might not make sense.

    oh yeah you have to find her. and keep us posted.

    i would try facebook first off for either her or her siblings. if the picture thumbnail is hard to see, just send a message anyways. i have done that.

    are you so and so from ottawa? yes or no. blammo its over.

    also try google. maybe she is linked to something scandalous involving cheez whiz and a bar band.. dun dun DUNNNNN

  24. I like cheez whiz but don’t get the toast thing, but then I am not a big fan of bread. I like to add a bit of cheez whiz to my mac and cheese just to smooth out all the grainy cheddar I use. The other day I was making a can of chicken corn chowder soup and stirred in a tablespoon of cheez whiz and it gave the soup an extra zip. I absolutely love it on hot dogs and I’d probably dip slim-jims in cheez whiz if I had the opportunity. I feel like I can get a pass on this unhealthy fatty stuff because I don’t eat pies, cakes, candy, brownies, doughnuts, chocolates or almost anything sweet. But then, I can rationalize ANYTHING.

    My guess is Cindy got pregnant. Dad’s response fits well with that. She had probably had long tearful talks with her Mom over spring break and went back to school for the week (or was it just a weekend?) to tie up loose ends and say good-bye to life as she knew it.

  25. Google the town…maybe they have a small newspaper or something like that. Google images too.

    Maybe there were inter-family problems, definitely seem to have control issues. Maybe she did something when home for the week? Maybe she was just having too much fun.

    Whatever, it’s weird that Cindy didn’t contact you, unless she was ashamed of the situation with her family.

    Just say you were thinking of her and wished you had had a chance to say “see ya later” and all.

    Oh, and I hate Cheese Whiz 🙂

    (Thanks for the link)

  26. Cedar – What? Now you’re a Yenta? Oy!

    Friar – Hi, welcome. Nice avatar, but there’s no link to your blog. I like to visit my commenters. When you come up for air from those ketchup and Whiz sandwiches, give me your link (baby)

    Jobthingy – The search has begun. Okay? Everybody happy now? If she turns out to be a wacko and kills me and my entire family after I find her, let it be on your heads. But thanks for the encouragement.

    Mo – Ya, I don’t think we have rehab here. We just have winter. Winter pretty much freezes any bad habits out of you and/or gets you hooked on new ones.

    Geewits – Anything’s possible, but I’m pretty sure she would have told me stuff like that. But who knows. If I had to guess, I’d say it was one or more of that her family didn’t want her at the school in the first place; that she wasn’t getting very good marks; and, that she was blowing through money like chicken corn chowder with Cheez Whiz through your digestive system. If/when I find her I’ll ask her.

    Becky – I’m on it. And ya, that was the weirdest part — that she never contacted me to say bye or anything. We were together, like every freakin’ day — all day at school (it was a small specialized program) and pretty much every evening, too.

    Violetsky – Thank you & the few here who are revolted by Cheez Whiz.

  27. It’s all about the corn syrup, modified or otherwise. Check 80% (maybe higher than that) of the processed foods in the grocery store. You’ll find corn syrup. Cheap and evil.

  28. JB – Hey…it’s JB!!! Long time no see. Ya it has dried corn syrup and regular corn syrup. In a 33 gram serving: total sugars actually add up to about 10%, compared to 20% sodium and 11% fat (1/4 of which is saturated) 1% carbohydrate. On the plus side there are 3 grams of protein, 10% calcium and 4% Vitamin A. I agree with you completely, by the way…cheap, evil stuff. Don’t be a stranger.

  29. Sorry tres behind on my blog reading this week.

    Ok. So as a kid, I used to love Cheez Whiz sandwiches. The Boy thinks it’s the grossest thing EVER — but it does make celery somewhat more palatable. Still when I am stressed, I have been known to smear the edible petroleum on bread.

    Wonder what happened to Cindy…

  30. Hella Stella – Yes, I’ve sent out some feelers. We’ll see what, if anything comes back. Who knows what I’ll say to her if I do find her.

    Nat – You don’t like celery?? Yum. What about peanut butter on celery or even cream cheese?

  31. I’ve always loved cheez whiz, and it’s always made me very very sick… Mmmmmmmmmmmm…. I want some right now. and the store around the corner is still open…. but no, I’ll resist the temptation. Damn you, XUP, why did you do this to me??

  32. Pingback: Those were the days, my friend « XUP

  33. You’ve gotten cross-pollinated to Rouxbe’s blog.

    I think anyone can read the blog, but you have to be a member to post. In case you can’t read it, here was my post:

    Thanks for the research. I didn’t get very far at the Kraft site either.

    Excellent Cheez Whiz blog! Talk about cosmic convergence. When I was in college in the ’70’s working as the sound guy for several bar bands I lived with a woman named Cindy. Like, Cosmic, Dude.

    I’ll digress a bit from the thread, but I’m still in the “comfort zone” here. We’re talking butter now.

    A friend of mine has a great family story from the Depression. A six or seven year old girl (his mother, I think) was having dinner at her uncle’s house. She slathered butter on her biscuits like nobody’s business. Her uncle (a true tight-fisted Yankee) said “Do you know how much that butter costs, young lady?”

    She smiled ear to ear and answered, “Yes! And it’s WORF it!”


    We’ve shared many a meal with these good friends and when the spectacular bill comes, at least one of us will lean back with deep satisfaction and say, “Oh, yes. It’s worf it!”

    Life is good… so is butter.
    p.s. for this Blog – Love Cheez Whiz and Velveeta. But then I also love hot dogs. I do pretty high-end gourment cooking, but a big honkin’ hot dog with Cheez Whiz? Oh, yeah. I’ll Melt With You as the song says.

  34. Sorry, I didn’t mean my previous post to be anonymous.
    In case anyone cares, I’m a 54 year old bookseller in southern NH, USA. I love books, cooking, and, of course Cheez Whiz. Fun blog. I’ll be checking back.