American Cheese?

Seems I'm frequently running to you guys for answers as to what something is.

I occasionally come across recipes (like the one here for mac n cheese with black beans and chipotle) that call for "American Cheese".

When I looked it up, it was defined as cheddar cheese. But...why not say cheddar, then? It must be something other than just basic cheddar. Cheddar with a gun? Cheddar with some interesting regional addition to it? All I know about your cheddar is that it is SO much cheaper than Canadian is. We must have some very expensive cows!

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