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Buck Wolf

Did Cheez Whiz Once Come In a Spray Can?

By February 15, 2009

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Easy Cheese can

Today's weird news mystery: Did Cheez Whiz once come in a spray can?

I'm convinced it did, though you won't find it in a spray can today. That's now the domain of Easy Cheese, another Kraft Foods product.

Cheez Whiz first appeared in 1952, and it was then sold in jars, as it is now, having made the glass-to-plastic conversion (and I'm talking about the packaging, not the product).

Along the way, at least according to me, Cheez Whiz appeared in an aerosol-like spray can. I know it in my heart. And I know it because of a scene in the Blues Brothers, in which Dan Aykroyd chucks what he describes as a can of Cheez Whiz to an old man.

My research on the Internet shows that there's been some debate over the Easy Cheese-Cheez Whiz controversy, but no definitive word from Kraft. And my friend Ed -- a reliable authority on all matters regarding Long Island and much of life's minutia -- has been hammering me lately on facts.

When I was in Orlando last week for the launch of Disney's newest attraction, The American Idol Experience Ed correctly pointed out my error in referring to Disney World (not Disneyland) as "The Happiest Place on Earth" (and please note that I edited my blog accordingly). Thanks Ed. It takes a big man to admit he's wrong (especially if, like me, he once worked for a Disney company). And that means at 5-foot-6, I'm big.

But I'm not always wrong. I've got a few years on Ed, and I can remember spray-on Cheez Whiz from my youth. (Please, somebody, help me out.) If I'm wrong, I'm almost certainly a victim of early onset Alzheimer's.

We began raging over this Wednesday evening, as we were enjoying a nice batch of Batter Blasters -- spray-on pancake and waffle mix, a new product he suggested that I write about last year.

Thanks, Ed, but you're the one who's going to be spraying your apology on a Ritz, when I call Kraft and get the whole story. To me, it's as clear as Easy Cheese's claim on its label that it's "an excellent source of calcium." If I'm wrong, I promise a public apology. If not, you can count on me to gloat.

In the meantime, if anyone has definitive proof or cares to chime in, please comment below.

Photo © Kraft Foods

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February 15, 2009 at 10:34 am
(1) Bruce says:

Of course it came in a spray can! Which of us oldies but goodies doesn’t remember spraying that stuff on a cracker or making cute patterns on celery?

February 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm
(2) Ed says:

Bruce — You probably remember “Snake Mate” which many people associate with the Whiz, even though the Whiz itself never came in a spray can.

February 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm
(3) weirdnews says:

I’m eating some Easy Cheese right now, thinking of how much it reminds me of eating Cheez Whiz as a boy . . . OUT OF A SPRAY CAN. The Kraft Food people will not let me down.

February 15, 2009 at 9:38 pm
(4) Ed says:

The fact of the matter is that in many places, and for many families, all cheese spreads were referred to as “Cheez Whiz,” whether or not they actually were. You simply fell victim to this tendency and, and referred to your pressurized cans of Easy Cheese and Snack Mate as Cheez Whiz, like many others.

But that doesn’t make it so.

Still, it’s an honest mistake, and we’re all united in the common goal of spreading the (pasteurized processed) cheese (food).

February 18, 2009 at 8:17 pm
(5) Glenn says:

I honestly can’t recall if Cheez Whiz ever came out of a can, but that’s probably because I’ve always preferred cutting my cheese rather than spraying it.

My good friend Ed can attest to that.

April 24, 2009 at 10:56 pm
(6) Cindy says:

Last night some of us were discussing this, and those of us from California, remember Cheez Whiz in a spray can, but someone else in the group who is originally from Wisconsin said it never did, and the only cheese in a spray can is Easy Cheese.

I think it did. Someone has to have proof.

August 22, 2009 at 9:43 pm
(7) Brenda says:

Nope … I ate cheeze whiz on my school lunch sandwiches every day and it was never squirted from a can. We had something called squeeze-a-snack that was squeezed out of a bag thingy. No aerosol cheeze can.

August 25, 2009 at 10:24 am
(8) Nan says:

Ed, Oh yes Cheez Wiz did come in a can. It had a decorative nozzle. Georgia, 1969 – 70 my best friend and I boycotted our school lunch room. We brought our own: Cheez Wiz, Melba crackers and Tang to drink. It’s a wonder we didn’t turn yellow! I think that just like today, there were areas where products were “test” marketed.

November 20, 2009 at 8:20 pm
(9) Dan Smith says:

Google Books finds: p. 115 Dec 2001 Popular Mechanics, “a door that sounded like a bank vault when the car was new now sounds like a Cheez Whiz can rolling down a cobblestone hill.”

“A Woman at War” By Molly Moore, 2002, p. 147: “I devoured half a box of Ritz crackers and most of a spray can of Cheez Whiz.”

“Attack of the Mole Master” By Dan Danko, Tom Mason: “Pete held out an old can of Cheez Whiz. Dried orange “cheese” was encrusted around the spout. Pete put the Cheez Whiz tip in his mouth and began sucking cheese as he listened,” etc.

Indeed, a Google Books search on “can of Cheez Whiz” in quotation marks turns up numerous references. A few at random: “I’m guessing one of the nimrods threw that aerosol can of Cheez Whiz into the fire.” “No, but I have a can of Cheez Whiz. I’ll write your number on the counter with it, then find a pen and copy it” “Calvin opens the drawer of the desk, gets out some crackers and a can of Cheez-
Whiz. He sprays Cheez-Whiz on a cracker. A big gob of it drops on the floor.” “…where the fish, ruined by handouts, swam up to the divers expecting an aerosal burst from a can of Cheez-Whiz”

“Calvin opens the drawer of the desk, gets out some crackers and a can of Cheez-Whiz. He sprays Cheez-Whiz on a cracker.”

January 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm
(10) lisa Berkel says:

Cheez-whiz in a can? Absolutely!!!! In fact, we are doing a 70′s benefit for a library and wanted to do a “cheez-whiz bar” because collectively we all remember cheez-whiz….. IN A CAN!!!!!

so don’t go heading to the doctors!!!! In fact you have a better memory than some of the other nay-sayers!!!


February 25, 2010 at 12:11 am
(11) Nic says:

I was just trying to do an image search, and am having the same trouble finding proof. But I have a clear memory of Cheez-Whiz being in a can. My memory as a child is that there were a few flavors, and somehow I vaguely remember a some kind of a pattern on the cans and each flavor had a different pastel color on the can. Am I wrong? I am remembering sort of a sea/mint green on one can and a lavender/orchid color on the other. This memory sticks with me because I was about 5 when I first saw it at a party my parents were having and my mom told me what it was, and I thought it was SOOOOO fancy!

March 3, 2010 at 2:28 am
(12) Peter V says:

This has been driving me crazy for years! I remember Cheez Whiz in a spray can and so do some of my friends. All Southern California grown! Can’t find it now!


March 10, 2010 at 11:52 am
(13) kvetch says:

definitely in a spray with a fancy nozzle, as nan said. tell the nay-sprayers to to whiz themselves :-)

May 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(14) oldManJoe says:

I’ve worked at Kraft nearly my entire life, and I can tell all of you that Cheez Whiz in a spray can was never made publicly available. It originally came in glass jars and during the plastics age has also been made into a squeezable bottle.

May 11, 2010 at 1:55 am
(15) kevin Moebius says:

hi yea i remmber chease in a can you spray it it on a ritz yea i remmber that but don”t know what happen to it may be i”ll find out about it ;)

June 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm
(16) mark says:

Soylent Green is PEOPLE!

November 24, 2011 at 5:28 am
(17) The Dude says:

The “Cheese Whiz “in the Blues Brothers Movie is actually a product called Nabisco Snack Mate (Cheddar flavor) which later changed its name to Nabisco Easy Cheese and now bears the Kraft name after a corporate buyout or merger.

People may have called it Cheese Whiz in a can but it never was. Cheese Whiz has always been made by Kraft and came in glass jars and is one of the prime ingredients of a Philly CheeseSteak

November 24, 2011 at 5:35 am
(18) The Dude says:

Also Snack Mate / Easy cheese is also mistakenly referred to as coming in an Aerosol can which it technically isn’t (If it did the cheese would be a fine mist)

My guess is that almost everyone called it Cheese whiz because it was very similar to Cheese Whiz and because Snack Mate is an absolutely horrible name.

When you think about it Whiz is a perfect description because it Whizes out of the can.

December 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm
(19) Bob S. says:

Yep, this is a case of cross-over memories. They do sell a squeezable Cheez-Whiz in a plastic bottle, and I think it once came in a plastic sausage-shaped squeeze package with a hole in the middle, but never in the pressurized spray can. Seriously, NEVER! My friends and I laughed at people in the 1970′s (yes, I’m getting old) who incorrectly called the canned stuff Cheez-Whiz.

Snack Mate & Easy Cheese (and a couple of even-more-regrettable attempts at the theme) were the brands for the pressurized can cheese.

December 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm
(20) ClayB says:

Last night my wife sent me to the store to get some ingredients for a casserole and one of the items was “Cheez Whiz – jar.” I defaulted instantly to spray cheese and came back with a can of Kraft Easy Cheez. Later we went to Target and she asked a clerk where is the Cheez Whiz – and he went straight to the Easy Cheez. Target did not carry Cheez Whiz in a jar. I asked the cashier if she ever heard of Cheez Whiz in a jar and she said only the spray can kind. We then went to Kroger and asked the customer service by the front door about Cheez Whiz = Isle 2 with the crackers. It was Kraft Easy Cheez. We went to the refrigerated section to get some cheddar and there it was – in a box display out in the isle. So, in one evening, 4 out of 5 people thought Cheez Whiz was in a spray can. This is fascinating.

July 24, 2012 at 7:16 am
(21) Marta says:

My son is making a short movie (complete with sound effects and an exploding spray can) called “I love Cheez Whiz.” I have been stunned to find it is actually called Easy Cheese. I had a similar store experience where the clerk knew what I was asking for, told me where to go, and, voila, Easy Cheese. (No jars of Cheez Whiz anywhere). I figured Kraft just changed the name (why????) and then searched for images online for “old” Cheez Whiz for him to insert in his film or tape on the can. Nothing. A click on Easy Cheese images brought me to this essay and I am relieved to not be the only one feeling perplexed. Personally, I think this is a Kraft conspiracy. What they are hiding, I do not know.

June 26, 2013 at 12:13 am
(22) wendy says:

Yea I remember cheese in a can this easy cheese doesn’t taste the same what happend to it That was the,BEST WOW WHY DID THEY TAKE IT AWAY

October 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm
(23) C Beck says:

I remember spraying some type of nasty cheese from a can onto crackers. But I can’t remember specifically if it was Cheez Whiz or not. I thought it did, though. Perhaps it’s like Kleen-ex vs. facial tissue. Kleen-ex is a name, not a product–but EVERYBODY knows it as Kleen-ex, even if it’s not the right brand. Maybe Cheez Whiz suffers the same consequence.

October 5, 2013 at 11:48 pm
(24) Wiseguy says:

Cheez-Whiz never came in a pressurized can. Some people tend to call all products by a popular brand name instead of a descriptive name. All bandages are Band-Aids, all petroleum jellies are Vaseline. Some people used to call all refrigerators Frigidaires and plastic wrap was Saran Wrap. So it’s not too surprising that many snack cheese products were call Cheez-Whiz even though it was made by a different company and wasn’t even the same product. Memories can also be faulty.

January 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm
(25) JD Sides says:

Cheez Whiz was the first of the aerosol lineup before Easy Cheese took over in the mid 80′s The reason you can’t find pictures of it is because there was some sort of inner turmoil over the name and product changing.. Cheez Whiz was moved to a can and Easy cheese was made the new aerosol can..

February 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm
(26) torie says:

I’m only 26 and I remember cheese whiz in a can. So does my husband and he’s 28.

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