515: American Cheese

Molly 0:04

I'm Molly and I'm Matthew and this is spilled milk. The show we cook something delicious eat it all and wave our arms around a lot while we're doing the intro.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:11

And this week we're talking about American G.

Molly 0:18

Okay, American cheese I kind of I know I say this every week or almost every week but I truly was surprised to discover we haven't done this yet. Sometimes I just say that and I don't mean it. This time. I mean,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:30

what other things are you saying that you don't mean?

Molly 0:32

I love you know, to you, Matthew. Only to you. Kidding, I do love you. I truly love you.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:41

I'm gonna I'm gonna cry for the rest of the episode, but also laugh Okay, like you do? Okay. Oh, I just realized something that we should have asked like before start even starting to research this episode, which I researched, which is, I'm not sure if this kind of processed cheese is called American cheese like worldwide. What if the same thing in Canada is called Canadian cheese? I don't know. But

Molly 1:04

I what I really hope is that maybe the rest of the world doesn't have to encounter this cheese. I like it. I mean, I like it, but it's not like a cheese.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:16

We'll talk about that. Okay, okay. Yeah.

Molly 1:19

Memory Lane. Yeah. So Tony Negroni, my mom, first name, Tony. Last Name Negroni. Got it. scorned this Chase. And I can't say I'm surprised Yeah, no, I'm not I'm not surprised either. She scorned this cheese. We never had Kraft singles in the house, though. I do have a very vivid memory of watching Kraft singles ads. Yes. Do you remember? Yeah, yeah. very memorable ad. That said I want to talk a little bit about the difference between like, what you think of as American cheese and Velveeta? Yeah, we'll we'll get into that. Okay, sure. Because my dad always bought Velveeta to have around the house for mac and cheese.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:01

Yeah, and that that totally makes sense. Okay. We always had Kraft singles in the house I have like a false memory associated with these because I believed until yesterday that they started using the brand name Kraft singles when I was a kid not the case. Oh when when did they start using it? They started using the name Kraft singles in like 1963 Well, I can't find the answer. I thought I knew the answer but I don't know. So like the 60s Okay, so when I was a kid we always had Kraft singles in the house they were called that and I would snack on them like right out of the wrapper and like like peel it kind of fold it in half and eat the first half and then extract the second half like I don't think I would enjoy snacking on that now

Molly 2:46

the idea of that like thin was it paper or is it like a thin layer of like deli plastic plastic?

That sounds so satisfying though peeling that back oh it is are both sides of a craft single shiny Yeah. Oh wow. So it's like super Okay, you know what I'm thinking? Fruit roll ups Yeah, it's you I remember the plastic sheet that fruit roll ups were absolutely and how the side that was in contact with the plastic was shiny

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:15

and how fruit roll ups were revolutionary because they were the first fruit roll that would actually peel off from the plastic and not stick to it and drive you crazy

Molly 3:22

wait were there ones before that

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:24

oh absolutely like fruit fruit leather fruit leather stuck to the thing oh yeah like like like I would get these like round fruit leathers like that were there like a big circle that was like stuck to a piece of cellophane and you could not peel them off and

Molly 3:38

it like constantly like making out with this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:42

licking this try to lick this layer of fruit spread congealed fruit spread off of the cellophane and it just looked filthy. Wow. Hot, but it was it was great practice.

Molly 3:54

It's very dental Tammy,

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:56

it is very dental Tammy okay.

Molly 3:58

Anyway, back to Kraft singles. Okay, so you'd like to snack on them.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:04

They were also the feeling in in surprise cheese sandwiches, which is what my mom called grilled cheese sandwiches.

Molly 4:10

And so what is it? Okay, so it being

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:14

Yes, what is what is American cheese and is it really cheese? So American cheese is is a processed cheese product that's made with that cheddar and or Colby cheese. We'll talk about what Colby cheese is in just a second, okay? emulsifiers, especially sodium citrate, salt, and other ingredients such as way, okay, and the emulsifiers are kind of the key thing. They're there to prevent the cheese from separating into solids and fat when you melt them. So the whole idea of these cheeses is to be like, nail meltable. Sea of goo Yes.

Molly 4:48

Right? Yeah, as

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:49

I say that you can't use them as like a slice on a on a on a sandwich, but it's not my preference.

Molly 4:56

Okay, well, so hold on. What is Colby cheese,

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:59

okay, so Colby Is jack cheese that's that's has an auto coloring added so it's orange and what's jack cheese of jack cheese is a washed curd cheese so it's it's it's sort of it's like cheddar but made with water instead of whey and it doesn't undergo the chattering process so it's designed to be a very mild creamy hard cheese and Colby is made with the same process but they add some natural coloring

Molly 5:26

does jack tastes a lot different from mozzarella jack tastes

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:30

pretty different from mozzarella like does like supermarket jack tastes a lot different from supermarket mozzarella No I don't think so. But mozzarella is Tang here because it's it's made with

Molly 5:41

whey okay got it interesting I don't think I've ever thought of jack cheese Do you think maybe we could do an episode on

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:48

we should do an episode on jack cheese because I really like jack cheese it's now that I think about it I'm going to talk about like the cheese to non cheese continuum in a minute and I feel like jack is kind of like on one end of the cheese to non cheese continuum but maybe not all the way on the cheese side

Molly 6:03

you know i think that I first when I used to work at Whole Foods like 20 years ago selling cheese I think that we carried a product that was like drunken jack or something like that and it was like jack so it was I knew it was a washed rind and it was washed with something that made it like purple

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:21

yeah like pour it or something yeah but I never tasted it so there's Bella dry jack which is like a really good she yes we carried that for sure there's Colby jack which is just like like marbled yellow and white jack cheese usually

Molly 6:35

appears as cheese cubes on a platter with like you know crudity. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:42

it's so American cheese cannot legally be called cheese. If you look at the fine print, it's always called selling like pasteurized processed cheese food. But producers hate the term cheese food for obvious reasons because it sounds terrible. And so now they call it all sorts of non regulated things like Kraft singles are called pasteurized prepared cheese product, which is not a regulated term. It's just like something they made up.

Molly 7:06

Hold on. Let's just think about this for a second. Do we think this is actually better than pasteurized processed cheese food? No. Cheese food is pretty weird and process has a really negative connotation to it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:19

So yes, I think prepared has a more positive connotation than then process Okay, okay. I don't know about product. Oh,

Molly 7:27

hold on. Am I hearing in both of our pronunciations that there's no EDI at the end of

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:32

FDA calls it this process cheese with not processed cheese? I do not know this drives

Molly 7:39

me nuts. Like when people write on a menu whip cream. Oh, yeah. vegetables. Beef, roast beef is a different thing. roasted beef. What

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:52

about existe? roast? Wait, what do you say roasted beef? roasted beef.

Molly 7:56

What about roasted vegetable? What

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:58

about roast potatoes?

Molly 8:00

So hold on roast beef is like a thing that goes beyond just the preparation of it. It's also like a flavor we think of Yeah, right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:12

I guess but but i think but what's going on here? It clearly is that roast already sounds like a past participle. And that's why it's getting used this way.

Molly 8:19

Okay, but what about whip? whip cream?

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:24

I think it's a good question. I think it's just like, like, like consonants getting squished together. Yeah,

Molly 8:30

cuz it's hard to say whipped cream. Whipped cream.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:32

It's It's hard. It's one of the hardest things in a typical day. It is. Yeah. All right. So I also learned that the FDA calls cheeses like Parmesan Reggiano and grana padano granular cheese. Yummy.

Isn't that great?

Molly 8:45


Matthew Amster-Burton 8:46

Do you like to put a little granular cheese on your past? I

Molly 8:48


Matthew Amster-Burton 8:51

So, you asked whether Velveeta is American cheese and I want to answer this question by kind of introducing the idea of a cheese to non cheese continuum. Are you ready for this? Okay, okay. Like sometimes sometimes we get into botany on the show. This is this is like food science. Okay, ready food engineering, kind of So, on the one side, you've got like, like Tilak chatter that is Cheez Its made through like a fairly traditional cheese making process and it doesn't have any additives beyond Reddit and salt. Alright, okay. Okay. On the other end is like things that are marketed as American slices or American singles. And don't use the word cheese anywhere on the package or in the ingredients. Those are made from like milk, protein and vegetable oil and Arctic and dead natural coloring and emulsifiers and stuff. Those are not very good.

Molly 9:43

And would that be Velveeta? No. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:46

let's talk about like boars head. You know, you go to the deli counter at the supermarket

Molly 9:51

on I need you to go back for a second because until this weekend, so we're recording this shortly after our spilled milk corporate retreat. Yes, and One of the items so we because we are still in these these horrible times we took all our groceries and cooked all our food yes I mean and that would that didn't seem like a burden No it didn't seem like a burden but ordinarily we would like go out to dinner stuff anyway but one night we had burgers Matthew requested American cheese so I had volunteered to do all the grocery shopping and when I got to the grocery store it did not occur to me to go to the deli counter and get it sliced I just went to where like the pre sliced cheeses are sometimes you just got to get it sliced you know Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:34

I think so I do you like the deli sliced American cheese I also like Kraft singles, totally fine but hold on it they're different things they're different things the deli slice cheese is further along the cheese and of the cheese to non cheese continuous so

Molly 10:49

just because it comes in like a loaf so higher quality processed cheeses come in low

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:56

yeah so it has less added like whey and and stuff and more cheese solids.

Molly 11:03

And can you ever buy it pre sliced like a single you buy pre

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:06

sliced to singles I've seen it like maybe in like a hanging case next to the deli case like where they might have some like sliced salami and stuff. Okay, okay. It's still gonna be better pre sliced because the surface isn't gonna get like sweaty So you mean it's gonna be better fresh sliced fresh, freshly sliced up, so so we go like like real cheese, then deli sliced American cheese, then Kraft singles are kind of in the middle of the continuum. Okay, all right. Got it. Then Velveeta? So Velveeta is somewhat less real cheese than Kraft singles. Okay, it's more stabilizer polymers and polymer oriented and then you get like the stuff that has no cheese added at all. Okay, and what would that be the bargain pre sliced like that you'd buy like in the cheap cheese section of the supermarket and they're and they're labeled American slices or American singles and don't use the word cheese on the pack. Oh, well, I

Molly 11:58

Oh, how's that different from Kraft singles.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:00

So Kraft singles have the word cheese on the package. They are identified as pasteurize prepared a cheese product

Molly 12:07

gosh because when I was doing our retreat shopping I almost bought like Kroger brand American TCE or American singles or

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:16

which might like depending on whether it says cheese on the package and the specific ingredient list might be totally non cheese or might be semi cheese. Okay, wow, really went down a cheese hole. Wow, you tasted Wookie whole chatter? I think I went down a Wookie Hall. I think you did. Okay, so So the answer is Velveeta is kind of American cheese. It's like slightly less cheesy than American cheese but it's a more gooey Yeah, it's more gooey so Okay, so let's talk about the history and then talk about like why these things exist when we can get real cheese okay, because because I think there is like a reason there's a time and a place I think there's a time and a place I think I've always felt like and I came up with this concept that TO EVERYTHING there is a season

Molly 13:03

would you say that you turn toward that season and then you turn to the next turn? To turn three

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:10


Molly 13:14

Okay, go on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:15

Alright, so the the story of American cheese is really the story of craft because it was invented and first marketed by James L. craft. Ah, to be James L craft. Yeah. Like I don't know, man. Do you think it would have been good to be one of these these like, early 19th 20th century industrial Titans probably pretty good. I'm sure it was better than bad. Yeah, yeah. was better. It was better than working for them. I'm sure Oh, right. Yes. Okay. Yes. So a craft marketed Americans invented it in like 1910 and marketed it by the late 19th. And the the name American cheese and the product took off quickly, but it was not until 1950 that they started selling it sliced and even then they didn't call it Kraft singles. They called it Kraft Deluxe process slices.

Molly 14:03

I have a question. Yeah. Can you buy the thing that is Kraft singles as a block that you have to slice yourself?

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:10

Oh, that's a good question. The answer is no, because Kraft singles were never a block. You can buy orders of like boars head or other deli brand American cheese.

Molly 14:22

So Kraft singles, were never like a block. It was never a chip off the old block. There was just the chip.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:29

Wow. I have to sit with that for a minute. What if I think I'm a chip off the old block but there never was a block. There's,

Molly 14:38

you know you broke the mold.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:40

I think I broke the mold. So craft singles are made by like rolling out a thin sheet of cheese like substance and then cutting it into squares. So it's sort of extruded. So like lasagna sheets,

Molly 14:50

like yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:51

exactly like this. Oh, that's an interesting idea. Like what if you could get the sheets and make a lasagna with cheese in between sheets.

Molly 15:00

A lot of Kraft singles.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:02

There are a lot of black casserole recipes that use an enormous amount of American cheese that don't really appeal to me but probably if I tried one would be pretty darn good. Yeah,

Molly 15:10

I know what you mean. Okay, so these are manufactured as like a long thin sheet or a sheet that is then cut into squares, right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:18

And originally in 1950, they were Mark they were sold in like a square package, but there was nothing separating the slices. Oh, that sounds like a mess, right? So it was it was a problem like they would stick together. And I'm getting a lot of this from a great article by Charles Wilson from the New York Times in 2012, which we'll link to, and he writes quote, The manufacturing difficulties were solved in part by an elaborate contraption that ran liquid pasteurized cheese through a quote chill roll, a machine that resembled a large rolling pin. The roll created a long ribbon of cheese which was then cut into three inch square slices. I'm gonna read this again Yeah, slow slow, you're chill roll. I'm sure there's a video of this. Okay, okay. All right, go on. So yeah, so it was called craft Deluxe process slices. The individual rapping was added in 1956

Molly 16:05

so there was so there were like six years there when the cheese slices just stuck together. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:10

and it sounds like the individual rapping was like invented by another company and sold to Kraft which would be like, must have been kind of embarrassing. Wait, wait, hold on. So wait, say this again set up in 1950. They introduced non individually wrapped sliced Kraft singles that were just a stack of cheese slices in in a package with nothing in between the slice so a stack of disaster a stack of that was what it was called. It was really the the craft disaster stack. And then, in 1956, they started individually wrapping the cheese slices and that's when things really took off. Okay, cool.

Molly 16:44

Okay, and I seem to remember when we were kids, in some of those Kraft ads, they made some pretty hard to believe claims about the amount of milk in each slice

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:58

everywhere so vividly. Yes, that, that they said it was five ounces of milk and each slice and they had these commercials where like someone was like pouring a glass of milk and it turned into a craft single. And in 1992 the FDA was like you cannot say that because it isn't true. And in particular, like the the particular objection by the FDA was that if they put five ounces of milk in something that each slice should have the equivalent nutrients associated with five ounces of milk and they do not

there's been an elephant in the room like whole time I feel like right why do we have this stuff right? So like we could get Tila muck chatter and it's not that expensive and it's very tasty and it's real cheese. Why would we ever buy this stuff? and friend of the show Kenji Lopez alt wrote a really good article about that question and we'll link to it it was in serious eats but the reason is texture American cheese has a texture that no real cheese can match

Molly 18:05

yeah this this seems to be I mean, what are other products that exists solely for texture? I mean this really is texture I mean I know that this has flavor

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:14

too but it Mayo has flavor right? Yeah, Mayo has

Molly 18:18

When was the last time you ate it? You don't remember if it has flavor, I don't like math. But I bet try to sneak some mayo onto a sandwich and see if you notice

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:28

okay yeah like you're always passing me sandwiches and I just kind of reach my head over and just like stuffing into my mouth Yeah.

So yeah, you could probably

Molly 18:38

we'd love listeners to write in with with suggestions for foods that exists solely for texture Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:45

I mean I can think like like you know like you buy like I can think of foods that yeah that these are foods that exists like to give you like kind of a positive texture experience and American cheese exists to give you sort of a background texture experience. Are those different things? I don't know.

Molly 19:02

I'm not sure I know what you mean. I mean, I guess boba like the texture of boba in bubble tea is

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:10

I don't mean positive in the in, like, in the sense of good. I mean, positive in the sense of like, you want to focus on that texture.

Molly 19:16

That's correct.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:17

I get that. Okay. Yeah, whereas, but I don't know. Yeah, like the creaminess of creaminess of American cheese. Like you can focus on the creaminess? Sure. Right. Focus on the creaminess all the time. Yeah, so American cheese you can melt it you could boil it if you want and it won't split or become grainy. And that makes it good for certain types of foods.

Molly 19:37

How do you feel about the fact that American cheese has so little flavor is this is this part of its appeal? I think it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:43

part of its appeal. Yeah, like that. If you if you make a mac and cheese using like the amount of tilam like Tilak, sharp cheddar in the amount that you would use like a Velveeta. It's gonna be have too much flavor aside from the fact that the texture won't be as good Like it's gonna be too intense I have made a mac and cheese that had too much chatter and

Molly 20:05

I too intense Do you mean it gets too rich like the flavor itself you know some flavors are almost yeah like like like richness being conferred not just through fat or texture but also through flavor

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:16

yeah that it's that it's like I mean I think you could you could get away with it by using like you know medium or mild chatter but like yeah that kind of thing where you like take a bite like whoa this is great and then you take like two more bites you know like and I'm done like it's just over overload richness, but but riches implies that it's because of like the amount of fat but you will get plenty of fat from using American cheese like I think it's like taste

Molly 20:39

that's a good point. I hadn't thought about the amount of fat in American cheese versus cheddar or that I mean, are they similar? I think so. What we're not sure we're not sure all right listener so we've got a whole lot of unsure ness. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:54

but I like how American cheese like add something without really calling attention to itself like like I would never balk at having a slice of American cheese on a burger. I think it can improve any burger, but it's not like like ooh, like taste this delicious American cheese. It's it's mostly there to like add like that creamy layer.

Molly 21:13

Well yes, and I think about so if I go to Dick's here in Seattle, which is very inexpensive fast food place. What I look for in a burger there is sort of like a homogenous texture. Yeah, bun to burger to cheese is there's not that much variation for the teeth

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:34

and the end The end cheese slicer glues the burger to the bottom. And

Molly 21:39

there is something really nice about the way that as you bite into it you truly can feel the give of the cheese in a very different way from cheddar.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:50

Yeah, have you ever tried the new digs special? Cabrales Berg

Molly 21:54

is that is that wait that's a fancy blue cheese that's Spanish yellow cheese Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:59

okay yes that thanks that was a good joke

Molly 22:02

Okay, so Matthew obviously you buy this stuff and you but and you always buy the actual like fresh sliced like deli sliced yeah and I noticed that you tend to buy the white one

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:14

yeah which which can be a problem like why I just kind of like the way it looks better in context especially look more

Molly 22:21

like cheddar and in truth you're you're responding to the the tastes exactly

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:27

the same the white one and the orange one but also like I have no good reason for buying the white American cheese and also when you walk up to the counter and say give me the white American cheese and you're a white American guy like it feels problematic that's

Molly 22:40


Matthew Amster-Burton 22:40

so but yeah, but yeah, I like the the deli sliced I think

Molly 22:44

that we just so interesting to me I just never thought about it like it

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:48

has slightly more cheddar flavor just very slightly and I feel like and when we just tasted them side by side the real textural difference was that yes, the the Kraft singles leave kind of a film on the roof of your mouth like

Molly 22:59

and it's very obvious you don't have to go looking for it. It's also possible

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:03

we forgot to take the wrapper off.

Molly 23:08

So what do you use American cheese for besides grilled cheese?

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:13

burgers, so I think it is great in mac and cheese I don't really make homemade mac and cheese we did a whole episode about that or that the crusty corners ever said breakfast sandwiches. I love a slice of American cheese on a breakfast sandwich I don't think there's any other cheese that compares

Molly 23:29

my breakfast sandwich you thinking like English muffin with scrambled egg

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:33

English rock with scrambled or fried egg like overeasy egg sausage Patty or bacon optionally add a slice of American cheese.

Molly 23:40

Good question about the American cheese Yeah, is American cheese like melty enough or like you know, it seems like it melts maybe at a lower point. lower heat Yeah, then then real like put some down your pants and it would melt do you have to do anything to make the American cheese melt on your breakfast sandwich or if you just plop it right on top of your hot egg?

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:06

Does it melt it doesn't melt quite enough for my preferences so I will like put it on in the pan and cover the pan for 10 seconds

Molly 24:16

you put it on the egg

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:18

I will usually put it It depends like if I'm if I'm doing a sausage Patty I'll put it on the sausage Patty like like I was making a cheeseburger if I'm doing like scrambled egg like I think that will be hot enough to melt it if the if the English muffin is hot too and just like let it sit for 30 seconds before I started eating.

Molly 24:34

Yeah okay okay the melt point of it this there's so many things that I wish you had researched Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:43

Okay, I had 9096 degrees. Oh,

Molly 24:47

that's the melt point that's about point okay, I just figured it out. Great. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:51

All right. Anything Oh other things. philly cheese steaks. That is the other main thing I use it for at home. It's my favorite cheese for Philly cheese steak. I love Making philly cheese steaks and I love how when you use American cheese, it just like kind of melts throughout and I know you can get that from Cheez Whiz also but I just prefer the texture of American cheese.

Molly 25:08

I've never had a Philly cheese steak.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:10

Oh we should I should make you one they're very good. Oh, I

Molly 25:13

would love that. Maybe we should get somebody on the show who could talk to us about philly cheese steaks to maybe someone from Philadelphia maybe all right, and then you can make me one and and we'll talk about it. Okay. Okay, this idea. Okay. Matthew, are there other types of American cheese or is it just is American cheese American cheese or is it like cheddar? Where you've got like a whole family of things with slight variations. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:37

there are other processed cheeses like you know American cheese usually based on cheddar and or Colby Velveeta is like a little different and like not based on any specific cheese, I don't think and then there's prevailed cheese, which is a processed cheese made from provolone and mozzarella, and it is associated with St. Louis cuisine. In particular, it is used to stop St. Louis style pizza, but it's also used for like sandwiches and stuff in St. Louis. Wow. I've never been to St. Louis. I don't know anything about St. Louis cuisine. I've never had St. Louis style pizza but I am fascinated

Molly 26:10

I love these weird regional thing Yeah, I mean not to say that Provo is any weirder than anything else but I love like these like city based regionalism, ya know

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:20

like how the rest of my family at one point went on vacation in Springfield Illinois when my sister in law sister in law, Silas Wu was was living there. And they had this thing that is that is a Springfield Illinois specialty called a shoe that's like a bunch of french fries with cheese sauce and a bunch of other toppings on them. So sort of like nachos but made with French fries and like any like sometimes like sliced deli meats and like all kinds of things

Molly 26:46


Matthew Amster-Burton 26:48

yeah man I could said they did not think I would like it. Oh, you're probably right. Okay. Glad it exists.

Molly 26:55

Do we have anything else to say about American cheese? I don't think we do or processed cheese. No, I don't think we do there was a lot of learning for me in this

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:04

I started researching it there's like we got home from our retreat yesterday. Like like at 7:30pm I jumped in I'm like okay, American cheese how much there Can there be to this? Like I think I left out a lot because I fell asleep after a while.

Molly 27:16

Can I do spilled mail Yes, please do.

Okay, so listener brighter says Hello, my name is brighter and I am 14 years old. My mom has asked a question before presumably a question on the show. And I know just a question to general and I thought I would email you with a different question. My mom has asked a question brighter. Why are you doing I just got braces. It sucks. Oh, sorry. Bright. Yeah. Do you have any ideas for some soft food other than applesauce and chicken noodle soup? I'm a pretty adventurous eater. Thanks, love the podcast.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:54

Alright, here are a couple things that came to mind for me cheese omelet. I love making myself a cheese omelet the way I make them they're super soft because I like get them in and out of the pan really quick so they don't brown and they're just kind of like a runny and delicious.

Molly 28:07

What about jook?

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:08

Absolutely Yeah, we did a whole episode on kanji or jUc listen listen to that episode

Molly 28:13

with Hetty McKinnon as our as our guest on the show. You can season it however you like me could make it spicy. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:21

hiya Jaco. Like the cubes of silken tofu that you top with soy sauce and like grated ginger I don't know like like no you're not supposed to like get little bits of stuff in your in your braces but like you can top it like with whatever seems good and if you get some decent quality silken tofu It's delicious. Other other soft tofu dishes like yoodo food, which is like stewed tofu like tofu and hot broth is very tasty bear pa tofu is more work but totally worth it because it's like fried tofu but it's not it's not like crispy. So it's still it's still like soft and yielding but it has like a little more a little more chew to it. And you make a spicy sauce to go with it.

Molly 28:59

What about mashed potatoes?

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:00

Yeah, why not?

Molly 29:02

Yeah, I'm trying to think of there was this I don't know how you feel about eggplant. I love eggplant but I know that we've mentioned on the show a long time ago this old Francis lamb recipe from the gourmet magazine website. So if you go to gormet like search gourmet.com Francis lamb eggplant, and basically you cook eggplant for a really long time to turn it into like a mush which then becomes a pasta sauce. And it is so good.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:30

I have an eggplant recipe that we had for dinner recently that I would also recommend that I think would be perfect. It is called dumb fish fragrant eggplant slices. It's it's caught it's a bit of work to make because you have to slice a slice up the eggplant salted and then fry it and then stir fry it, but it sure is worth it.

Molly 29:50

It's so good. I have only eaten it when you have cooked it for me. And it's incredible. What about like braces? Yeah, like

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:58

braised pork shoulder comes to mind because it braises so soft well

Molly 30:03

and you can season it into sort of like any cuisine that you want Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:08

And then you don't have to do anything you just like put it in the oven for four hours on low heat

Molly 30:13

Yes Nice.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:14

Okay wow that is brighter please please get back in touch let us know if any of those suggestions were helpful or if you made any of them great all right or or convince your mom to make them which is even better All right, you know we you know we haven't done lately is what's going on in the underworld. Oh, what's going on

Molly 30:31

in the underworld

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:37

so I haven't been playing Hades very much but teenager the show December has been playing every day I finally got my kid hooked on video games Yeah, a long slot and they made it out of the underworld and I was like Does that mean you won the game and they were like no, once you get out of the underworld it gets even harder because Zachary is the hero can't survive like like the the like above world environment like doesn't doesn't agree with his constitution and so like he can't survive very well up there and so it's it's even you have to like like get like life life total bonuses and like battle your way through I don't know I kind of lost the plot at this point. Wow,

Molly 31:15

okay. Wow, that was a lot going on in the in the above world Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:20

so maybe that doesn't really fit the segment new segment what's going on above the underworld Alright, and now it's time for now but wow

Molly 31:36

Matthew What are you into this way? Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:38

I feel like I already talked about this but I think you'll know if I did or not did am I talking about 20th century boys on the shelf doesn't sound familiar. Okay, I've been reading this comic series it's a it's a Japanese manga comic series called 20th century boys by now keota Salah it's a it's kind of a classic like people who know manga will know this series very well I think and it's available in a in a beautiful English language edition in 12 volumes I don't remember where I heard about it or why picked up the first one but like I wasn't, I wasn't like totally won over by the first volume but then like the library has an I'll try one more. And then I totally got hooked. This is a absolutely like wild rollicking adventure story that takes place in three different timelines because it is about a group of kids in the 70s who like as kids do come up with this this like ongoing like, you know, story that they that they play that they act out about, like a battle of good versus evil that happens on on like the eve of the 21st century. And there's like a giant robot and a death cult and a scary symbol with an eyeball. And like, you know, there's a fun thing they do at kids as kids and then fast forward to the eve of the 21st century and suddenly it's all actually happening and they have to figure out why who like within their orbit like you know, knew about this and and made it all real, and the bad guys win but like 15 years later in 2015 like the people who survived half are trying to bring down the death cult and so it keeps like moving around between these different time periods you meet tons of cool characters it's super exciting there's there's tons of like adventure story and manga cliches deployed really well I love the giant robot

Molly 33:33

I love the enthusiasm on your face listener I'm sorry you can't see it the enthusiasm on your face and in your voice when you talk about that

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:42

yeah I feel like there are some things about it that may have not aged as well and it's very like like you know boy for focused story sure, but it is incredibly fun and I have I forgotten how annoying it is to have to like track down all the volumes of a series with many volumes because I've been getting some for the library but then some of them they don't have and I've been like ordering used copies and waiting for those and anyway it's great 20th century boys by now cute so

Molly 34:09

fun. Okay, well our producer as always is Abby circuit tele and you can rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:18

and go to reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk to I was gonna hook up with other people who liked the

Molly 34:24

show. Yeah, it's like it's like a grinder for for podcast listeners.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:29

It's like a it's like a burger grinder. That's a food thing, right?

Molly 34:33

Yeah, like

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:36

it's like a meal.

Molly 34:37

It's like, it'll just grind you up and spit you out.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:40

All right. Till next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. The show that like if you put us in your ears will melt. I'm Molly wise inverted. I'm Matthew Amster-Burton

Molly 34:59

Why you Gotta be such a downer bro.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:01

No, you're right we can we can rekindle the magic. I've been meaning to tell you I went to wizard school.