Monroe says ‘Cheese' on Saturday

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:47

    MONROE - For the 15th year Monroe is hosting its renowned Cheese Festival this Saturday in honor of the birthplace of Velveeta and Liederkrantz cheese. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be held rain or shine. Velveeta, the pasteurized process cheese spread, was created in 1918 by Emil Frey, who worked for the Monroe Cheese Company (a white building adjacent to the Monroe Theater on Mill Pond Parkway). The young cheese maker discovered that by combining whey and another cheese, it would create a smooth, velvet-like consistory. Thus, the name Velveeta Cheese. In 1927, Kraft Foods bought the new product. This led to the eventual development of a macaroni and cheese food in 1984. Packages of sliced cheese would follow in the market and eventually a microwavable version. Keeping up with the times, the company introduced a salsa dip to its cheese line. And, for those who enjoyed the aroma of Liederkrantz cheese, that product was also invented by Frey at the Monroe Cheese Company. Frey named this cheese after a local singing group, so history buffs speculate. In 1981, the last batch of Liederkrantz was produced but re-introduced again in March of this year by a firm in Wisconsin. So, as festival-goers enjoy the crafts, games, music and food, they are once again honoring their hometown’s claim to fame - The Monroe Cheese Company, home of Velveeta and Liederkrantz cheese. More on the Monroe Cheese Festival can be found online at