If you’re like most Americans, you probably have a package of Kraft Singles in your fridge right now. It’s what most of us think of when we think of American cheese, and we absolutely have no quarrel with it. It’s obviously processed and shouldn’t even be compared to real, artisanally-produced cheese, but for what it is, it’s great. But there’s another Kraft product right next to it on the shelf, one you’re probably overlooking, that’s far superior to your old-school Kraft Single: Deli Deluxe.
Slices of original Deli Deluxe cheese are slightly larger and more substantial than Singles, and if you were to do a side-by-side taste test, it’s just about impossible to not agree that Deli Deluxe slices are a higher quality. If you take a look at Serious Eats’ great rundown of the different types of American cheese, you’ll see that Deli Deluxe is in a league with the American cheese brands you’ll find at the deli counter, like Boar’s Head and Land O’Lakes, and because of the regulations on moisture and fat content (no more than 43 percent and no less than 47 percent, respectively), Deli Deluxe is allowed to be called simply “pasteurized process cheese.” Kraft Singles have a moisture content of no more than 44 percent and a fat content of no less than 23 percent as well as more approved added ingredients, so it has to be called “pasteurized process cheese food.” In short, Deli Deluxe is closer to “real” cheese than Singles, and it has a lower moisture content and a higher fat content.
Yes, Deli Deluxe has more fat and calories than Singles (80 calories and 7 grams of fat versus 60 calories and 4 grams of fat), but you’ll also get a lot more mileage out of one slice. Try to top a burger with one Kraft Single and it’ll all but vanish; one slice in a grilled cheese sandwich is sad. But top a burger with one slice of Deli Deluxe and you’ll definitely know it’s there, and one in a grilled cheese will do you just fine.
Not only is Deli Deluxe more substantial than Kraft Singles, it also tastes better and is of a higher quality. Give these slices a shot, and you’ll never go back to Singles.