Cheddar is a hard English cheese while American cheese is a smooth and creamy processed cheese. Cheddar has more flavor while American cheese, being artificially processed rather than aged naturally, is less expensive. Because it is processed, American "cheese" doesn't technically qualify as cheese and cannot be sold without labeling it as “processed cheese”. That’s the reason “Kraft Singles” can’t be legally sold as “Kraft Cheese” and is always labeled as “processed cheese”.

Comparison chart

American Cheese versus Cheddar Cheese comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartAmerican CheeseCheddar Cheese
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American CheeseCheddar Cheese
Origin America Cheddar, Somerset, England
Texture Smooth and creamy Hard and slightly crumbly
Color White, yellow or orange White, yellow or orange
Taste Usually bland Mild - Strong
Aging time 60-90 days 3-8 months
Calories per 100g 336 336
Also known as Pasteurized processed cheese, American/Canadian Singles, American/Canadian Slices Pasteurized processed cheese, American/Canadian Singles, American/Canadian Slices
Cheddar cheese cubes at a wine tasting event
Cheddar cheese cubes at a wine tasting event


American cheese was first made by the British colonists in America, and was then exported back to England by 1970s.

Cheddar cheese originated in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset, England. It has been produced there since at least the 12th century.


American cheese has a smooth and creamy texture. It is usually bland in taste, but various cheeses can be added to make it more flavorful. It is available in various colors like yellow, white and orange. It is difficult to burn yet it melts easily and does not have a strong smell. It has a very long shelf life (12-15 years).

Cheddar cheese is a hard, sharp-tasting cheese. Its natural color ranges from pale yellow to off-white, although some manufacturers color the cheese with a brighter yellow. It is slightly crumbly.


American cheese is made with milk, whey, milk and whey proteins, food coloring, flavorings, emulsifiers and salt. The ingredients are blended and heated with emulsifiers (like potassium phosphate, sodium or citrate) and poured into moulds to solidify. A stabilizing agent like polysaccharide xanthan gum is sometimes added to prevent separation of the ingredients.

Cheddar cheese is made with cow’s milk. After heating, the curd is kneaded with salt, cut into cubes to drain the whey, then stacked and turned. It is then matured at a constant temperature, e.g. in caves, for 3 to 18 months.


A classic grilled cheeseburger
A classic grilled cheeseburger

American cheese is most commonly used in America on hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and cheese dips.

Cheddar cheese is the most popular cheese in the UK and the second most popular cheese in the US. It is used in a huge variety of recipes.


American cheese can be substituted with Cheddar or Swiss cheese (to add more flavor).

If you do not have access to cheddar cheese, you can use Colby, Cheshire or American cheese instead.

Nutritional Info

Cheddar and American cheese vary slightly in nutritional values. Both are a good surce of Calcium and iron, have no added sugar, but are very high in saturated fat and sodium. Calories vary based on the type of the milk used (fat/non-fat) for making the cheese.

American Cheese (per 100g) Cheddar Cheese (per 100g)
Calories 336 403
Calcium 57% of daily intake 95% of daily intake
Iron 3% of daily intake 5% of daily intake
Fat 26g 33g
Saturated Fat 16g 21g
Cholestrol 82mg 105mg
Sodium 1297mg 612mg
Carbohydrates 1g 7g
Protein 19g 25g


American cheese (plain yellow) costs about $5.99 per pound. Cheese prices vary, but a pound of cheddar currently costs between $4.99 for mild cheddar and $21.99 for extra-sharp 12 year cheddar.

Current prices for American and Cheddar cheese are available on

How to make American Cheese and Cheddar cheese at home?

Here are a few interesting videos on how to make American cheese and Cheddar cheese at home:


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