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Ease On Down the Road

November 1, 2010

There is a very delicate balance between teaching kids about what is good food and screwing them up for life.  Recently Young Master Fussy came home from school and wanted to share with me something bad that happened over the course of the day.  I sat down with him, ready to listen, and was prepared for something of magnitude.

It turns out he spied one of his friends drinking a bottle of SunnyD.

I didn’t see that one coming, but it makes sense.  This is what happens when you systematically deprive kids of the things that are normal for most people.  Like hot dogs.  He was reading books long before he got a bite of a real wiener.  At least I made sure his first one was memorable.

I’m trying to ease up on some of the food restrictions.  We also just came back from a significant road trip, and the rules of the road are always a bit more flexible than those at home.  Plus the trip brought us through Philadelphia again.

When you wrap up all these factors, it became very clear that now was the time for the children to get their first taste of the Whiz.

Now here is why we don’t normally go around eating Cheez Whiz.

First, it’s generally a good rule of thumb to not eat foodstuffs where the name of the primary ingredient is spelled differently or is omitted outright.  When White Castle sold their fish sandwich as the “Deep Sea with Cheese” the savvy consumer may have been wise to stay away.  I would also recommend avoiding anything called chick’n.

Second, there is the ingredients list, which isn’t as bad as I might have thought.  But there is no mistaking Cheez Whiz as anything but a highly processed edible product:

Whey, Canola Oil, Milk, Milk Protein Concentrate, Maltodextrin, Sodium Phosphate, Contains Less Than 2% of Whey Protein Concentrate, Salt, Lactic Acid, Sodium Alginate, Mustard Flour, Worcestershire Sauce (Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor), Sorbic Acid as a Preservative, Milkfat, Cheese Culture, Oleoresin Paprika (Color), Annatto (Color), Natural Flavor, Enzymes.

Third, there are 440mg of sodium in two tablespoons of the stuff.  Two tablespoons is a paltry amount of Cheez Whiz.  I have had such tiny containers of Whiz at restaurants in the past, and have always been insulted by their ridiculous size.  Are you really going to make me buy two or three side orders of whiz for my fries/pretzel/nachos?  Bastards.

That’s right, I eat whiz.  Looks like I have something else to confess.

Anyhow, I can’t imagine there is any other city in this country that has a greater Cheez Whiz per capita consumption rate than Philly.  It’s on menus everywhere.  It’s almost a certainty that if a restaurant sells French fries, they will sell cheese fries.  And in the city of brotherly love, that’s fries topped with Cheez Whiz.

When I told the cook at Tony Luke Jr.’s that this was the kiddos’ first taste of cheese fries ever, he looked perplexed.

Now granted, part of that is me and my restrictive food guidelines for children.  But the other part of that is that in northern California and upstate New York these delightful treats are not omnipresent.  I’m sure the notion of French fries with cheese curds and gravy are equally curious to that Philly cook as the fries topped with whiz are to many beyond the Delaware Valley.

As long as we were going for cheese fries, I thought it would be good to go for the gusto and give the kids the full Philly meal deal, so we got a steak with whiz too.  Although Young Master Fussy suspected he would have a preference for a chicken steak, so that’s what we got.  Grilled and chopped chicken slathered with whiz on a hoagie roll.

The fries were a big hit with the little ones.  The sandwich was a little big for my delicate children to wrap their tiny mouths around, and I think that doomed its success.  Perhaps a true cheese steak would have fared better.

It will give us something to look forward to next time.  After all, it’s only a four-hour drive.  Any there is the added benefit of being able to stop in New Jersey for their awesome cheap gas.  Jersey does have other awesome things, like pizza, but we can talk more about that later.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    November 1, 2010 10:13 am

    I prefer the Philly cheesesteak with provolone, slightly unorthodox. I just cannot understand the desire for Cheez Wiz on such a beautiful thing.

  2. November 1, 2010 3:02 pm

    Oh man, this post makes me want to eat something gooey and really bad for me.

    When we feel like we need more freaky ‘cheese’ things and a kick of sodium, we reach for a little tub of Old English. I like that it’s like spray cheese (ew, that phrase) but you can spread it and pretend it’s real.

  3. llcwine permalink
    November 2, 2010 7:34 am

    I can’t believe you didn’t have the roast pork with rabe and provolone at Tony Luke’s. Yes, you had one at DiNic’s but Tony Luke’s version is the best.

  4. November 3, 2010 9:35 am

    This post is excellent. I have nightmares about my kids liking white bread and kraft mac & cheese… thanks for being equally freakish :) Also, I’m with Mr. Sunshine – provolone on the cheesesteak is the way to go (well, when I still ate meat). Thanks for your blog – I simply adore it!

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