The Great Cheese Caves of Springfield Missouri

Things I Never Knew:

In deepest Springfield MO, there lies a vast and hidden trove of cheese products: the underground storage facilities of Kraft Foods Inc. Kraft, rather resourcefully, repurposed an old limestone mine. The warehouse lies nearly 100 feet underground, and keeps your Velveeta deliciously cool at minimal expense all year round!

I love the teeny little truck, and the Velveeta-colored plastic curtains.
posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - link to this photo

10 Comments

Thu, November 13, 2008 - 5:52 AM
heh...I thought those were cheese !
Thu, November 13, 2008 - 5:54 AM
So did I...tee hee.
Thu, November 13, 2008 - 6:06 AM
Yes. Yes, those are really veins of chese depicted here. Dedicated cheese miners (it's a union job) take their cheese mattocks, hack out blocks by the thousands, package them up and pack them cave-fresh onto waiting trucks!

It's a tricky job, cultivating underground cheese. The Velveeta culture requires quite different lighting than the Kraft American slices. The Swiss must be kept in total darkness at all times to get the desirable pallor, and has to be gotten to grow around harder cheeses to get the holes in it.

In the deepest, darkest recesses of cave, where few ever dare go, are the Jello Pudding Lakes.
Thu, November 13, 2008 - 6:33 AM
Aha! Springfield Underground. Been there. Did you know that the USDA trucks excess commodity cheese up to Kansas City? Stored in Subtropolis, owned by the family of former AFL (Ameriucan Football League) founder Lamar Hunt, and remains in the family today. Been there, too.

Advantages to this are numerous, not the least of which is that it's more efficient to store cheese underground due to utility costs on the surface. You cut your utility bill to 10% of what it was.

There are other advantages, too.
Thu, November 13, 2008 - 7:02 AM
Ther is a PBS documentary about the Chees Nun in Connecticut that came out several years ago. It is available on DVD. Here is a little information about her:

www.nytimes.com/2003/12/21...21CONN.html

The documentary includes footage of her visiting cheese caves in France. Great stuff!
Thu, November 13, 2008 - 7:03 AM
I seem to be losing my "e"s today. Sorr-ee.
Thu, November 13, 2008 - 8:11 AM
Hey! that's what I was going to say:

mmmmmm velveeeta

(guess they own a little piece of my brain...damn that Kraft)
Thu, November 13, 2008 - 2:12 PM
I'm going to be pedantic (someone had to volunteer) and point out that Velveeta is a cheese by-product, and technically not cheese.
Thu, November 13, 2008 - 3:23 PM
Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme are still alive down there, awaiting the day, awaiting the day...
Mon, November 17, 2008 - 6:47 AM
"The Swiss must be kept in total darkness at all times to get the desirable pallor, and has to be gotten to grow around harder cheeses to get the holes in it. "

The first part is certainly true (looks out the window - it's deeply overcast although not totally dark), but the second part shows that you have only a very superficial acquaintance with the intricacies of mining Swiss cheese, unless of course, what you call Swiss is really just "Swiss". I mean, how would you remove the harder cheese to form holes? No, that theory doesn't hold water. Now, *real* Swiss cheese comes in dozens of different styles and topologies, and of course, all that is due to the underground from which it is mined: sedimentary rock, basaltic rock, granitic, ... also, it is not grown as such, but rather, like stalagmites, forms naturally. I am sure you have all heard of the milk lakes, right? Slow seepage through fissures and time will do the rest. Many a tunnel has had to be temporarily stalled, while the miners excavate a rich seam of Appenzeller or Greyerzer. Switzerland is now facing a serious challenge, however, since the underground has been almost entirely excavated, leading them to start to outsource their operations. France, on the other hand, much less tunneled-under, still has many years left before reaching Peak Cheese.

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