I Accept Amul Cheese Exactly As It Is: Canned, Processed, and Perfect

I Accept Amul Cheese Exactly As It Is: Canned, Processed, and Perfect

July 11, 2019 Off By readly

I’ve never liked American cheese.

Before you lambast me about being a cheese snob, hear me out: the reason I dislike American cheese has nothing to do with the fact that it’s processed. Quite the contrary. I don’t care for American cheese because I grew up with a processed cheese that is far superior. Allow me to introduce you to Amul cheese, India’s greatest dairy product to ever come from a can.

Amul, an Indian dairy company based in Gujarat, specializes is butter, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese made using milk from Indian buffalos, which lends a very specific flavor—it’s richer, a little nuttier, a little funkier. It started in 1948 as a dairy cooperative meant to help bring milk products to smaller cities in response to a monopoly created by a company called Polson. Many of the people Amul was selling to didn’t have access to refrigeration, so shelf-stable, long-lasting products were developed, like the cheese (its official shelf life is nine months). People in India are crazy loyal to Amul products, but it’s that cheese that inspires by far the most cultiness. #Amulcheese is a trending hashtag with close to 2,500 posts. And then there are these ads, in which a reserved boy eats a slice of Amul cheese before a big game/when he is about to perform on stage/when he finds a monster in his closet—and he somehow gains cheese-powered super-confidence. People love them.

Imagine the super-confidence that awaits you.

Photo by Chelsie Craig

Amul cheese is a hard, canned cheese that tastes like cheddar with a plot twist. It’s got a familiar buttery flavor, but it’s slightly sour. It’s hard but pliable, melts beautifully, and is saltier than you’d expect. Because it’s canned and packed with who knows how many preservatives, it will last forever. I distinctly remember when my dad would stockpile cans and cans of Amul cheese at the top of our pantry, and those would last us for the year. Our favorite way to eat it was grating and then melting it onto tomato toast, with a sprinkling of chaat masala, which brought out all of Amul cheese’s wonderfully weird flavors. In my cookbook, the tomato-cheese toast recipe calls for cheddar, because Amul cheese isn’t widely available—but if you really want to eat the dish as the Krishnas do, you should order a can online. Once you’ve had a grilled cheese made with Amul cheese, the American cheese version will forever taste bland and boring.

Beyond the taste, the cult of Amul cheese has mainly to do with the nostalgia that it carries. Like Maggi noodles, India’s Instant ramen of choice, or Parle-G cookies, our preferred tea accompaniment, Amul cheese takes Indians of multiple generations back to their childhoods. My dad always told me that Amul cheese, more than anything else, tasted like India to him. To me, it tastes like being at my parents’ house in Texas.

Source of this (above) article: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/amul-cheese-indianish