Eden and Velveeta are two popular brands of processed cheese.
With their creamy texture and mild flavor, they can make a tasty addition to various dishes and snacks.
But what exactly sets them apart?
A Background on Eden and Velveeta Cheeses
First, let's start with some background on each type of cheese.
What is Eden Cheese?
Eden cheese is a cream cheese spread hailing from the Philippines. It debuted in 1981 under the brand Mondelez International, which was previously known as Kraft Foods.
This processed cheese comes in blocks with a milky, creamy, and rich flavor profile. It has a smooth, spreadable texture similar to Velveeta. Eden cheese is a popular ingredient in sweet and savory Filipino dishes like cheese pancakes and pasta.
Outside of the Philippines, Eden cheese can be difficult to find in grocery stores. Specialty Asian food shops may carry it, but your best bet is to order it online.
What is Velveeta Cheese?
Velveeta cheese originated in the United States in 1918 under the Monroe Cheese Company in New York. It was purchased by Kraft in 1927 and reformulated over the years into a smooth, creamy "cheese spread."
Like Eden, Velveeta has a signature mild, tangy flavor and soft, spreadable texture. It melts smoothly as well. In the US, Velveeta is a ubiquitous staple ingredient for cooking dishes like queso, mac and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches. It's readily available in major supermarkets across the country.
So in a nutshell, both Eden and Velveeta are mild, creamy processed cheeses, but Eden hails from the Philippines while Velveeta originated in America.
Key Similarity: Classification as Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Products
One key similarity between Eden and Velveeta is that neither can legally be labeled as actual "cheese" in the United States.
The FDA strictly defines standards for various cheese categories like cheddar, swiss, and cream cheese. In 2002, they issued a warning letter to Kraft that Velveeta could no longer be called a "cheese spread" due to the presence of milk protein concentrate in the ingredients.
As a result, Velveeta in the US is now labeled as a "pasteurized prepared cheese product." Eden cheese lacks an FDA definition as well since it was not created in the US.
So if you're looking for authentic cheeses made purely from milk, cream, and traditional cheese starter cultures, Eden and Velveeta don't fit the bill. They're both "cheese products" with added ingredients to achieve desired flavors, textures, and melting properties.
Key Difference: Ingredient Formulas
While Eden and Velveeta fill a similar niche as creamy processed cheeses, their exact ingredient formulas differ:
Eden Cheese Ingredients
As a Philippines-based brand, the ingredients for Eden cheese are not publicized or regulated by the FDA. So an exact ingredient statement is unavailable.
However, since it has a smooth, spreadable texture that melts easily, it likely contains emulsifying salts like sodium phosphate and milk protein concentrates. These ingredients help bind fats and moisture to prevent separation.
It also may contain preservatives like sorbic acid for an extended shelf life. Annatto is probably used as a yellow-orange food coloring. And enzymes could help develop its signature flavor.
Velveeta Cheese Ingredients
Kraft openly discloses the Velveeta formula. It contains:
- Milk: Provides dairy flavor, protein, and nutrients.
- Milk proteins: Bind moisture and fat for a smooth, creamy texture. Includes milk protein concentrate and whey protein concentrate.
- Milkfat: Contributes creaminess and palatability.
- Emulsifying salts: Sodium phosphate helps evenly distribute fat and water.
- Preservatives: Sorbic acid, sodium citrate, and sodium alginate preserve freshness.
- Coloring: Apocarotenal and annatto provide Velveeta's trademark orange hue.
So at a high level, you can see both brands use similar types of ingredients like milk products, emulsifiers, and preservatives to achieve the processed cheese effect. But exact ingredient percentages and special flavor elements may differ between brands.
Texture and Consistency
Another key similarity between Eden and Velveeta is their soft, creamy, velvety consistency straight out of the packaging.
However, Velveeta tends to be slightly firmer and more solid initially. Eden cheese is more like a thick, sticky cream cheese consistency from the start.
Here’s an overview of their textures:
Eden Cheese Texture:
- Ultra creamy, spreadable texture
- Sticks easily to knives when cutting
- Initial texture akin to room temperature cream cheese or butter
- Softens further when heated
- Solid block that can be sliced thinly
- Moderately firm but still spreadable at room temperature
- Softer and creamier texture when warmed
- Fully melts into liquid when heated
So Velveeta holds its shape better pre-melting while Eden starts out super soft right out of the fridge. But when cooked, both processed cheeses transform into an utterly smooth, drippy consistency.
Speaking of melting - how do Eden and Velveeta fare when heated?
Both cheeses deliver exceptional melting properties. They turn drippingly liquidy, smooth, and creamy when cooked. So whether you’re making queso dip, cheese sauce for pasta, or grilled cheese sandwiches, Eden and Velveeta can provide that satisfying gooey cheese pull.
However, high heat can cause separated oils in either cheese:
For easy melting with either brand, you'll want to gently heat the cheese over medium stovetop heat or at medium microwave power.
Stirring often helps distribute heat evenly. And adding a bit of milk or cream makes the sauce extra smooth.
So for melty recipes where texture is key, both Eden and Velveeta perform admirably thanks to their emulsified formulas.
Key Takeaway: Avoid boiling or microwaving Eden and Velveeta too aggressively. Gentle warming gives the best smooth consistency.
Taste and Flavor Profile
Taste and flavor are where you may notice more significant differences between the two brands:
Eden Cheese Flavor
- Sweet, creamy, buttery
- Mild cheese flavor
- Slight tang
- Not very salty
Velveeta Cheese Flavor
- Stronger cheesy, tangy dairy flavor
- Prominent saltiness
- Hint of bitterness
- Not as sweet
As you can see, Eden cheese delivers a sweeter, subtler flavor without too much saltiness. Think creamy butter crossed with mild cheddar.
Velveeta amps up the tang and salt for a stronger processed cheese flavor. It contains over half of your daily recommended sodium per serving. Some even detect a slight bitter aftertaste.
So in applications where you want an intense cheese punch like queso dips, pasta bakes, or toasted sandwiches, Velveeta shines.
But for balancing sweeter applications like desserts or letting other ingredients shine, Eden works well. Its flavor profile IS more neutral.
No matter what though, both Velveeta and Eden avoid being overly sharp like an aged cheddar. Their hallmark is moderate dairy flavor with creaminess taking center stage.
Price and Availability
Price and availability may also help steer your decision between Eden vs Velveeta cheese.
Velveeta is hands-down more accessible and budget-friendly, at least for American shoppers. An average 16-ounce block costs $3-5 at any major grocery store or online retailer like Walmart.
In contrast, Eden cheese runs $6-10 per 8 ounce block when buying from specialty Filipino stores or websites that ship from the Philippines. And that’s not accounting for shipping fees.
Plus, for US-based shoppers, Velveeta avoids those Philippines import wait times - you can grab it instantly off local supermarket shelves.
- Velveeta = Ubiquitous in US supermarkets, very affordable
- Eden = Must be imported or trek to Asian markets, pricier
So when cost or convenience is a concern, Velveeta pulls ahead regarding availability. But for authentic Filipino recipes, Eden may be worth the splurge.
Usage in Cooking
Eden and Velveeta both excel when used as smooth, gooey ingredients to mix into dips, bakes, sandwiches, and more.
Some recipe ideas include:
- Queso and nacho cheese dips
- Sauces for pasta, vegetables, pizza
- Grilled cheese and mac and cheese
- Velveeta works better for American classics like these since Eden's flavor profile is less sharp and salty.
- Ube cheese pandesal and other Filipino dessert breads
- Eden cheese suits sweeter applications better with its more mild, creamy notes.
And thanks to their heat-stable emulsions, you can safely cook cheese-based dishes all the way up to 160°F for food safety without oil separation.
So both brands offer versatility for enhancing both sweet and savory recipes with smooth, liquid cheesy richness.
Key Takeaway: For American cheese dishes, opt for Velveeta. Sweeter Filipino recipes pair better with Eden's subtle flavors.
Which processed cheese brand edges out the other nutrition-wise? The numbers indicate Velveeta packs a bit more protein while Eden provides more calcium by weight:
Per 1 Ounce Serving
Keep in mind Velveeta's higher sodium content at 55% your daily value per ounce. Eden stays more modest at 25% DV.
Overall though, no one is reaching for processed cheeses expecting a healthy choice. Both Eden and Velveeta qualify as highly processed convenience foods. Enjoy them in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet.
Is Eden cheese the same as Edam cheese?
No, Eden and Edam cheeses differ in a few ways:
- Eden is a Philippine processed cheese spread. Edam originated as a Dutch semi-hard cow's milk cheese.
- Eden comes in blocks. Edam takes on a ball shape with red paraffin wax coating.
- Eden has a sweeter, creamier flavor profile compared to Edam’s nuttier, tangier taste.
However, young Edam does make for a decent substitute in recipes if Eden cheese is unavailable.
Can you freeze Eden or Velveeta cheese?
Yes, both cheeses freeze well for long-term storage. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. However, texture and melting quality may degrade slightly after freezing.
What’s the difference between Eden cheese and Kraft singles?
Eden cheese comes in a solid block form. Kraft Singles are individual plastic-wrapped slices of processed cheese product. Both contain similar dairy ingredients but Eden provides a richer, creamier mouthfeel.
ultimately depends on the flavor, budget, and applications you crave. Say cheese - you can’t go wrong!
Eden and Velveeta fill a cheesy niche thanks to their luscious, smooth textures and mild flavors.
Velveeta takes the crown when buying affordable convenience cheese at American grocery stores.
But for authentic sweet Filipino recipes, Eden brings a subtler, creamier profile that justifies its import premium.