I never cared for American cheese when I was younger, but I dealt with it. Became a bit more vocal about the dislike once I realized just about everyone I knew had a nostalgia hard-on for Kraft Singles.
But then I started cutting, selling and sampling cheese for real.
I lucked out and worked in a department that had absurd amounts of money to spend on expensive cheeses. My manager (whom I loved) was the biggest coffee, cheese and wine snob I've ever met. We got a long great.
I'm not going to tell someone to their face that they suck for liking American cheese, but I will always suggest something else now. And I will counter if anyone tries to suggest Kraft Singles are the best choice for anything.
Here are some things I feel like sharing about when I cut meat and cheese that, for some reason, I am still weirdly passionate about, and feel the need to keep talking about:
Customers who ask for pairing suggestions and are open about trying new things are obviously the best and are likely to get more chill and specific help and likely more samples than most.
Our location had a regular customer who came in weekly to buy between 1-2 pounds of ultra thin sliced Iberico to feed to his puppy as snacks. He was definitely that asshole who was always flashing his money.
Kraft : USA : : Président : France (But also: Président > Kraft)
Pair your cheeses with fruit more often, most fruit has some cheeses that it can go well with. The fruits that pair with the most variety of cheese are probably: Apples, pears, grapes and figs.
Don't freeze your cheese. Just don't. Please... for me? even an aged low moisture cheese can form ice crystals in the freezer and ruin the taste and consistency. If you tell a cheesemonger you're going to go home and put the fresh mozzarella they just made into a freezer, you are responsible for the stroke they have.
If you go to a deli counter and ask for fresh thinly sliced American cheese in any amount over half a pound, you deserve the reserved spot the devil has waiting for you in Hell. That shit gums up the slicers so fast it's the most frustrating thing to cut, and if you want them thin, they will not be consistent.
White American cheese tastes the same as yellow and is sometimes cheaper, but no one cares because they need that dye in their life for some reason.
Boar's Head is not the best quality meat you can get...BUT it's popular because they are consistent with their products and have built up an impressive collaborative training and distribution service with grocery stores. Store management are their customers not you, and they treat them well to make as many exclusive deals as possible.
Gruyère is amazing, if you want to step it up even more, find some Kaltbach Gruyère, easily in the top 5 of my all-time favorites.
If you ask a cheesemonger, who is surrounded by expensive foreign cheeses, where the vegan cheese is, where the Velveeta is, where the string cheese is... they will hopefully tell you politely... but It's probably not at the artisan cheese stand and they're gonna roll their eyes at you when your back is turned.
If you're looking for high end chocolate, IMO South America does it best. Dark chocolate pairs better with hard cheeses, milk chocolate for soft.
Considering I don't like almonds, Marcona Almonds are worth the price because they are crazy delicious and pair well with a lot of cheeses.
That was a bit of a rant. But I guess I feel better now. Seems I'm a bit opinionated when it comes to cheese.