My Long-Distance Relationship with Cooper Sharp American

By Madeline Crowley

Always found in my gram’s quaint Pennsylvania kitchen lies the best tasting cheese that has ever crossed paths with my tongue: Cooper Sharp American. This oddly specific type of cheese is by far the best type of American cheese out there, since no other cheese even comes close to matching its unique flavor. The cheese was first created by a New York cheesemaker named Cooper in the 1890’s, who then moved his company to Pennsylvania and finalized the recipe. When picturing the perfect grilled cheese and the gooey goodness oozing out when you separate the two halves, I think of Cooper Sharp American. In its solid cheese form, it has an amazing rich flavor, but the second it reaches a temp of 88 degrees, the cheese takes on a whole new level of amazingness. The melted cheese becomes a creamy wonder that will surely leave your tastebuds speechless. 

I first discovered this wonderful substance when I was around eight years old and asked my gram how she made her famous mac n’ cheese so darn good. She replied that it was all in the cheese! You must always mix together flour, melted butter, and a few other secret ingredients, then melt in the cheese to create a smooth, non-clumpy “roux.” Gram then added that Cooper American Sharp could only be bought on the east coast, where she lives. I was beyond devastated. My mom and I are always keeping our eyes out for the day that it gets sold at California grocery stores as well. However, the fact that the cheese is an east coast specialty makes it an even more valuable treat in my mind. The longer I am without this cheese, the more I crave its sharp flavor and extreme creaminess. After one long trip back to Pennsylvania, my mom decided to buy a five-pound block of it, freeze it, and sneak it back home in her suitcase! That’s how much our family loves Cooper Sharp American and my gram’s mac n’ cheese.