American cheese may not have always been cheese, but the United States stood by it anyway. It had us in its name, after all, and that meant something. But no more. After decades upon decades of delicious partnership, American cheese has fallen by the wayside.
According to a report by Quartz, mozzarella has usurped American and is now the chosen cheese of the US: "Italian cheese is the new American cheese," the report asserts. Cheddar cheese has been an American institution for roughly a century, and states like Vermont and Wisconsin make a name for themselves with it. Its production still "accounts for more than three times as much as all other American cheeses combined" and it's a huge part of what makes the processed product we call American cheese possible, but even that wasn't enough to save it.
Because pizza: the root of all pleasure and woe. Food scientist and cheese historian Paul Kindstedt explained to Quartz that the "unprecedented rise in popularity of pizza" has lead to an ever-increasing demand for mozzarella cheese. This started back in the '60s, and while it took until 2010 for Italian-style cheese to overtake American-style cheese production, its dominance has only continued thanks to pizza chains like Domino's.
And considering that few Americans would pick literally anything in the world over pizza, it doesn't look like that'll change anytime soon.