Newsflash: There’s No Such Thing as Nacho Cheese

The USDA identifies more than 70 types of cheese, but there’s no such labeling for "nacho cheese,” so what is it?

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

This cheese is nach-yo cheese. It’s probably some sort of cheddar blend.

The government tells us that blue cheese has to be moldy and 60 days old, and Parmesan cheese has to granular texture and a hard and brittle rind with no more than 32-percent moisture. However, there is actually no legal definition of nacho cheese, which leads us to these two very important questions: Does nacho cheese actually exist? And, has my entire Taco Bell-eating life been a lie? According to Bloomberg writer Venessa Wong, there is actually no such thing as nacho cheese because the USDA won’t define it, and every company that creates nacho cheese, or nacho-flavored snack foods, uses a different formula and cheese combination.

We would wager a bet that most nacho cheese flavorings are cheddar cheese mixtures. Companies like El Paso, Doritos, and Pringles were reluctant to give up their cheeses used in nacho flavorings, but they included Cheddar, Parmesan, Romano, and blue cheese.

Then there’s this kicker:

“It really is based on what consumers are used to and what they believe nacho cheese flavor is,” Mike Siemienas, spokesman for General Mills, which owns El Paso, told Bloomberg.

In conclusion, nacho cheese is literally whatever you want it to be. Be right back: I’m going to blend some Asiago, Muenster, and Cheddar, and pour it over Tostitos. The melt-abilities are endless.

Wherever your nacho persuasions lie, we recommend this perfection recipe featuring the mysterious cheese: stuffed mac n’ cheese nacho dumplings.