I started falling out of touch with the Cheez Whiz around my sophomore year of college.
My roommate Brian was from Philadelphia and liked setting me straight about many things, food being one of them.
The true Philly cheese steak, he would declare, was not made with my beloved Kraft product, but provolone cheese. (I have since learned there are two schools of thought on this.)
"Cheez Whiz isn't even real cheese!" he insisted and, reaching into the refrigerator door, enunciated the contents of my jar: "Processed." "Cheese." "Food."
"They can't even call it 'cheese.' " His final argument. Case closed.
It seemed from that point I came to find the product to be synonymous in popular culture with things shabby, inelegant or done on the cheap - fare fit only to accompany nachos or maybe broccoli, if it were putting on airs.
But funny things happen to cultural snobbery when convenience is on the line.
My generation has spawned a nation of go-go superparents who have to cram a lot of activity into a small amount of time.
So who comes to the rescue of time-strapped food preparers? The friendly folks at Kraft Foods kitchens.
Visit CheezWhiz.com and find 49 quick and easy recipes using our old family friend in a jar. (See Cheesy Fries above.)
They've even added two products to the line, "Salsa Con Queso" and "Cheez Whiz Lite" - "great cheezy taste with half the fat." (That's 3.5 grams per 2 Tbsp serving for you scoring at home.)
They've updated the shape of the jar, from a tall, tapered container more suitable for jelly to a squat, wide-mouthed bottle - friendly to microwave ovens and nacho chip dipping.
At my age, "fun food" like Cheez Whiz is enjoyed only in moderation, mostly at tailgates with chips. I still don't keep a jar in my fridge, although my sister with the four kids does.
In Mr. Traisman's obituary (he lived to be 91), I learned that in addition to his work at Kraft Foods, he is credited also with the discovery of the process by which the modern McDonald's French fry is prepared.
I decided that if nourishing a young immigrant and his family wasn't reason enough to gain him entry into heaven, then surely the pleasure those crispy fried potatoes gave to billions and billions would earn him his reward in the hereafter.
Rest in peace, Edwin Traisman.
Contact writer Philip Maramba at phi...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1248.