Cup cheese

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Cup cheese is a soft, spreadable cheese deeply rooted in Pennsylvania Dutch culinary history. Its heritage dates back to the immigration of the Mennonites and Amish to Pennsylvania in the late 17th century.[1] A descendant of the German cheese "Kochkäse", it became known as cup cheese because it was sold in a cup. Cup cheese is increasingly seen as a specialty food product.


Cup Cheese is described in James A. Michener's novel Centennial in 1974:

'You ever tasted my mother's cup cheese? Best in Lancaster.'

Taking a corner of his black bread, he spread it copiously with a yellowish viscous substance that one would not normally identify as cheese; it was more like a very thick, very cold molasses, and it had a horrific smell. Rebecca was not fond of cup cheese; it was a taste that men seemed to prefer.

'Poppa likes cup cheese,' she said with a neutral look on her pretty face.

'You don't? Levi asked.

'Too smelly.'

'That's the good part.' He put the piece of bread to his nose, inhaling deeply. He knew of few things in the world he liked better than the smell of his mother's cup cheese. By some old accident the German farmers of Lancaster County had devised a simple way of making a cheese that smelled stronger than limburger and tasted better. He ate her piece, his own, what was left and then licked the container."

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