Because I am presently bored out of my mind here at my desk, I was just taking a little Internet break, reading an article about macaroni and cheese in today’s NY Times. It even comes with recipes (creamy and crusty)! And who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? Aside from those who also hate freedom?

Anyway, along the way I learned the answers to a constellation of questions that have long plagued me:

American cheese is simply cheddar or colby that is ground and emulsified with water, said Bonnie Chlebecek, a test kitchen manager at Land O’Lakes in Arden Hills, Minn.

Plain American cheese, labeled pasteurized process cheese, contains the most natural cheese and is the best for cooking. American cheese derivatives are made from cheese and additives like sodium phosphates (acids that promote melting), nonfat dry milk and carrageenan. In descending order of their relationship to natural cheese, they are cheese food, cheese spread (such as Velveeta) and cheese product. [emphases mine]

Wow. Mysteries of the ages, revealed unto us all. Not even the absence of the serial comma from the final two sentences could dampen my joy at such a discovery. Doubtless, all of you will agree.