Beau MacMillan's Favorite Cheese For Burgers Might Surprise You

Beau MacMillan knows his food. The Food Network celebrity chef has appeared as a coach on Worst Cooks in America, is a regular judge on Guy's Grocery's Games, and, perhaps most impressively, has won against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America (via Forbes). He's also the executive chef at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, an exclusive resort in Arizona, which touts his love for fresh ingredients. In an interview with Food Network, MacMillan also mentions his love of "great cheeses." Which makes his confession on his favorite cheese for burgers that much more surprising: American cheese.

Yes, the "pasteurized prepared cheese product," as the label says, can't even be called cheese legally under FDA standards because it contains less than 51-percent real cheese (via HuffPost). The cheese that comes individually wrapped and packaged in a waxy plastic wrapper and made with a whole slew of non-cheese ingredients like gelatin and protein concentrate (via Spoon University). That American cheese.

American cheese is surprisingly popular

MacMillan goes on to explain in the same interview, "I've got this weird, freaky thing about American cheese — it's got to go on my burger, I don't care. I'm a cheese lover, but American cheese is where it's at with the burger." And he's not alone in that feeling. Despite reports that American cheese is dying, a Mashed poll of more than 29,000 people worldwide found that 31 percent considered American cheese to be the best cheese, beating out the likes of Swiss cheese and pepper jack.

American cheese is particularly popular on burgers. Not only is it the cheese of choice used at popular fast food chains such as In-N-Out, Shake Shack, and Five Guys, but in a survey of the best burgers in every state, American cheese tops the winning burgers in nine different states, from Hawaii and Alaska to Utah, Wyoming, and Tennessee. Nor is MacMillan the only famous chef with a curious craving for American cheese. Martha Stewart has also confessed that American cheese is one of her favorite snacks and guilty pleasures (via Town & Country).