As It Happens

PHOTOS | Cheezwatch: CBC’s Sook-Yin Lee tests the limits of processed cheese

What happens when you stick a slice of processed cheese to a window pane and leave it there for a year and a half? Not very much, apparently.
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      What happens when you stick a slice of processed cheese to a window pane and leave it there for a year and a half?

      Not very much, apparently.

      Those are the non-scientific findings of CBC’s Sook Yin Lee, host of the radio show Definitely Not the Opera. At a block party in September 2013, she says a friend grabbed a slice of processed cheese and flicked it at her house -- where it stuck to the window of her front door and remained there for the next 18 months.

      She has been documenting its progress via photos and online updates in a series she calls Cheezwatch -- “with a Z because it’s not real cheese,” she explains. She found that over the course of six seasons, the slice has remained virtually intact.

      “The weird thing I realized as I continued to walk into my house is that not an insect, not a squirrel in the heat of summer, nor a mould spore would attach to this processed cheese," Sook-Yin tells As It Happens host Carol Off.

      This may be a bit alarming to processed cheese lovers, especially after this week’s news that Kraft Singles was the first product to be awarded the "Kids Eat Right" seal of approval from the U.S. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

      After that story aired on As It Happens yesterday, listeners responded with their own stories of the tenacity of processed cheese.

      Katie Yeoman commented on our Facebook Page

      "I once forgot to empty my cooler... for seven months. When I went to use it again, I discovered that the food that had been in it had broken down into something resembling swamp slime in the bottom of the cooler. Except the package of cheese slices, which were pristine and perfect, as if I had just taken them out of the fridge. I never ate cheese slices again! Anything that won't rot is way too creepy to eat!"

      As for Sook-Yin’s “cheez” slice, she has been seeing some recent developments. A couple of weeks ago, she noticed a crack in the slice, "like a piece of plastic had cracked," she says.

      And on Friday, she says the four corners have started to separate from the window pane. “It’s alarming because I’m not sure if the cheese is on death’s door,” she says.

      What do you think of processed cheese -- does it get your seal of approval? Do you have any stories of food products that seem to have outlived a normal shelf life?

      March 20, 2015 | The most recent update in the Cheezwatch saga: First, a crack appeared two weeks ago, and now, the corners have started to separate from the window pane. (Sook-Yin Lee/CBC)

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