CHEAP FOOD I LOVE No.2 ‘ The Kraft Cheese Slice

Individually wrapped! Cheese slices are a very tactile food, which is the secret of their since-childhood appeal to me. The peeling back of the wrap, the separation of slice from plastic, the smooth feel of the unbroken yellow square, then the folding ‘ twice lengthways or into quarters according to mood ‘ and then popping it into my mouth, where it clings to tooth and gum most comfortingly (and unhealthily).

It is relatively rare for a man to be openly mocked for his choice of snack but my love of cheese slices (Kraft brand only ‘ I’ve tried others and they don’t get it right) has always attracted much bemused and negative comment. They’re no more artificial and no less tasty than a crisp, and it’s as substitute crisps that I generally eat them ‘ one at a time, absent mindedly, with a book or PS2 controller on my lap. I think the deal breaking word for most people is ‘cheese’. If Kraft would only drop the pretence that their product is meant to taste like cheese, and call it Kraft Snaxquares or Kraft Dairymunch, they’d meet much less foodie hostility. The c-word though sets up expectations of subtlely and texture which the humble slice is quite unable to meet, and so its own distinct charms are of course overlooked.

(A disclosure: the last time I had these I was very disappointed. It might be that after 30 years my palate is finally sophisticated enough to dislike them. For services rendered though they deserve their entry!)