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PAMMELA
03-18-2004, 09:55 AM
A dumb question here:

If a recipe calls for 1 C grated parmesan cheese (example), do I assume it is the green container of grated cheese? I always thought so, unless it specifically calls for "freshly grated parmesan cheese". Is this right????

TIA!



Pam

Beth H
03-18-2004, 09:57 AM
I hate to sound like a food snob but I always use the "real" parmesean when a recipe calls for grated. I buy a big block about once a month and keep it in a zip loc in my fridge. I think there is a huge taste difference between the green can and the real thing.

Grace
03-18-2004, 09:58 AM
I'm not sure there is a rule to that one. I would think it would depend on the recipe. IMO, the stuff in the can is tasteless and dry, and I wouldn't use it even if they did call for it. Real Parmesan cheese is very strong and pungent, and you don't necessarily need as much of it as you would the stuff from the can to get the flavor. What recipe are you using? I think that would help us figure out what they really want you to use.

kristalsnow7
03-18-2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by Beth H
I hate to sound like a food snob but I always use the "real" parmesean when a recipe calls for grated. I buy a big block about once a month and keep it in a zip loc in my fridge. I think there is a huge taste difference between the green can and the real thing.

Ditto! :)

I have seen pre-shredded "real" parmesan, too. Of course, it doesn't taste as fresh as when you shred it yourself, but it is SO much better than the stuff in the can.

PAMMELA
03-18-2004, 10:16 AM
I can't remember what exact recipe, but I guess I just wondered why some recipes specifically say freshly grated and others just say grated? Also, I hear you on the taste difference, but I always thought it would be a question of how they melt differently.

P.S. I have to admit that I love the canned stuff on my freshly popped popcorn! (meaning NOT microwaved!) Also, I use it on any garlic bread I broil, I like the texture better than the "real" cheese melted on my bread (am I crazy??):rolleyes:

swquilts
03-18-2004, 10:18 AM
Pammela, I like the canned stuff too....but only on pizza!

I just grate a bunch up and toss it in a measuring cup...or go by sight.

PAMMELA
03-18-2004, 10:24 AM
So would the consensus be that if it the recipe says "grated parmesan cheese" that one could go by preference of using canned or fresh? But if the recipe says "fresly grated" that one would use fresh?

kristalsnow7
03-18-2004, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by PAMMELA
So would the consensus be that if it the recipe says "grated parmesan cheese" that one could go by preference of using canned or fresh? But if the recipe says "fresly grated" that one would use fresh?

I guess you could look at it that way. I usually just always grate my own, no matter what the recipe says. But if you prefer the green can, I think you could use that in any recipe that calls for parmesan cheese, freshly grated or not. :)

claire797
03-18-2004, 11:30 AM
If a recipe calls for 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, they mean 4 oz of grated parmesan cheese. It could come from a green container (Kraft) or from a pre-grated tub in your grocery store cheese section.

If the recipe calls for shredded, then it will specify shredded. In general, most recipes which call for Parmesan cheese are referring to grated.

As for the "freshly grated" issue, that's just personal preference. Parmesan tastes much better freshly grated, but if you like the Kraft stuff, use it! I prefer freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano :). But if I'm in a hurry, I will buy the pre-grated kind -- not the green can.

blazedog
03-18-2004, 12:17 PM
Trader Joes has pretty good grated cheese - parmesan and other combos in their refrigerated cheese section. They also have shredded parmesan cheese and of course parmesan/reggiano/asiago to shred/grate at home. It's pretty much a good/better/best trio. I will grate a chunk at home when the recipe is cheese intensive and use the pre-grated when I need a quick sprinkle.

The stuff in the green cans is unspeakable - sorry but what kind of cheese has a shelf life of 100 years:D

Curleytop
03-18-2004, 12:45 PM
I have bought the stuff in Tj's but unless you want to use within a short time it will get moldy. Give me the green can anytime!

claire797
03-18-2004, 12:49 PM
I'm going to have to buy a can of the green stuff just so I can form a strong opinion :D. I think the last time I had it was in 1978. It was the only Parmesan cheese my mother knew of. I remember it as being a lot flakier and lighter than deli or fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Grace
03-18-2004, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by Curleytop
I have bought the stuff in Tj's but unless you want to use within a short time it will get moldy. Give me the green can anytime!

I've never found mine to get moldy and keep it for months at a time. But I buy the big block (from Costco) and grate it myself - so maybe if you're talking about the pregrated stuff it's different, but I know that a block of true Parmagiano-Reggiano will last a very long time and won't get moldy.

Editing to add: I found this when I did a search on shelf-life of cheese:

How Long Will Cheese Last?
The softer the cheese, the shorter its shelf life. Very soft cheeses should be used within a few days. More substantial fresh cheeses will usually keep for one to two weeks after opening. Semi-soft cheeses will usually last for about a month. Harder cheeses will last for months; in fact, they will continue to age in your refrigerator. Extra-hard cheeses like Parmagiano-Reggiano can be kept for extended periods if properly wrapped.

blazedog
03-18-2004, 01:02 PM
Claire - pick up a can of fruit cocktail packed in syrup for old time's sake while you're shopping:D

funniegrrl
03-18-2004, 01:07 PM
Of course I grew up with the stuff in the green can, too. I never saw it in any other form until probably the mid 1980s. I tend to use bagged pre-shredded for convenience these days. But, there are times when having Kraft parm powder on buttered spaghetti is the EXACT taste from childhood that I crave, and nothing else will do.

claire797
03-18-2004, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by blazedog
Claire - pick up a can of fruit cocktail packed in syrup for old time's sake while you're shopping:D

Okay! I'll save the litte cherry halves for you.

PAMMELA
03-18-2004, 03:01 PM
Thanks for all your opinions! I should own stock in Trader Joes I shop there so much! Love love love any cheese!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pre-grated, block, canisters, etc.! My question had more to do with the wording which now I think I get! :D

Off topic, but I also Love love love SPAM!!!!

Curleytop
03-18-2004, 08:24 PM
GRACE: Thanks for the info. I will check it out next week when I go to Costco. I was there yesterday. I try to go once a week and get gas there as well. Do you have a special type grater???

blazedog
03-18-2004, 08:32 PM
I use a simple box grater for cheese and it really takes almost no time.

The Cuisinart also does a great job of grating with the grating blade (not the knife blade). However, for the smallish amounts generally called for, it's simpler for me just to grate by hand with the box grater.

Grace
03-18-2004, 08:44 PM
I just use my microplane grater - but any grater will work. I think once you've tried true Parmesan you'll never go back to the can! There's such a huge difference in taste.

HejazSunKat
03-19-2004, 02:28 AM
I use the fresh for everything too because of the taste issue but there's a place in life for junky food also. As others have said, if you like it, use it. Maybe try your recipe both ways and see which version appeals to you best. I'm thinking though that there's probably more in the stuff in the green can than just cheese (hopefully there IS cheese in there). I don't have any so I can't look but there are probably additives, preservatives, maybe flavorings and colorings in there too? To me it doesn't taste anything like the real thing. If it's full of fake stuff that's another reason I'd hesitate to use it unless I was in an 'Aw to he!! with it mood'. I like my food as fresh and real as possible.

memartha
03-19-2004, 05:07 AM
While I agree that freshly grated parmesan is the best, I keep the green can around for the kids' spaghetti. They like it and their friends are used to it. Unfortunately, I use soy "parmesan" which is the nastiest of the bunch. :(

Anyhow, here's the ingredient list from the green can:

Grated Parmesan cheese (part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes)
Cellulose powder (added to prevent caking)
Potassium sorbate to protect flavor

Curleytop
03-19-2004, 10:03 AM
Thanks! I have a box grater, also a small flat grater which I often use for lemon peel etc.