Word began spreading Tuesday about a Velveeta shortage. Kraft admitted that its popular processed cheese product -- essential to the traditional Philadelphia cheese steak and homemade macaroni and cheese -- was becoming hard-to-find, especially on the East Coast. A spokesperson told USA Today, "This is really a short-term issue that's more noticeable right now given the increased seasonal demand."

That comment struck the paper -- and us -- as rather odd. What about Velveeta would cause its sales to soar around or just after Christmas? We're not talking about sweet potatoes, cranberries or an ingredient for Christmas cookies.

We haven't read about a Kraft plant being closed unexpectedly. Besides the product, sold in jars, is known for its unnaturally long shelf life. So you can't blame the cold snap or any recent weather events. A little detective work might be needed to find who's made off with what some foodie once dubbed "liquid gold."