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Thread: Cheese - already grated/shredded? or fresh only?

  1. #1
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    Smile Cheese - already grated/shredded? or fresh only?

    Hi -

    I am a Food Professional with Kraft Kitchens and like everyone else, I sometimes need help with my family meals - what to make (quickly, during the week) and what the kids will eat!

    We use a lot of cheese to jazz things up and get the kids to try new things (hey, grated Parmesan on some steamed broccoli really adds some interest for my daughter!)

    I was wondering if others feel strongly about grating/shredding fresh only or if you would use already grated or shredded cheeses?

    Lisa

  2. #2
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    Hi Lisa,

    I typically buy pre-shredded cheddar, cheddar-jack and mozzarella (those types of cheeses). I buy chunks of the harder cheeses like Parm and grate those myself as I think it tastes better/fresher than the pre-shredded types. That said, when a recipe calls for A LOT of grated Parm, I have purchased the pre-shredded for ease.... I really don't care for grating cheese for long periods of time.

    Kate

  3. #3
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    Is this a professional enquiry on behalf of Kraft, or a personal one?

  4. #4
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    I always grate. Much better flavor and no surprises. Can't be too sure what preservatives they put in the pre-grated stuff.

    If you are fishing for info on the new Kraft Parmesan ... I wouldn't buy it. I prefer Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by funniegrrl View Post
    Is this a professional enquiry on behalf of Kraft, or a personal one?
    Probably professional since she is using her company name... but I'll answer it in the interest of customer input.

    Years ago I found that buying cheese by the piece is so much less expensive than buying pre-shredded. So I get this pound chunk of whatever and, within 3 or 4 days of buying it, haul out the Cusinart, attach the shredding blade, and shred the whole thing. Then I dump it into a freezer bag, label it, and freeze.

    For Asiago and Parm, however, I cut the chunk into one-ounce pieces and freeze in bags. It only takes a few minutes to thaw, and I can grate it directly onto salads or pasta.

    The only cheese that I buy pre-shredded is light mozzarella, which I cannot seem to find in larger quantities.
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by funniegrrl View Post
    Is this a professional enquiry on behalf of Kraft, or a personal one?
    Yea, not sure it's entirely appropriate.
    That said, no, I don't buy shredded cheese or Kraft cheeses.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #7
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    Lisa clearly identified herself as being from Kraft, so she's obviously not trying to deceive anyone.
    I prefer to grate my own cheese. I get big wedges of parmesan from Costco, and grate it as I need it with my Microplane. I'll also grate my own cheddar for tacos using a box grater, usually Land o Lakes or Kraft.

    I will sometimes buy grated cheddar or mozzarella. Never pre-grated parmesan; DH is half Italian and won't touch it.

  8. #8
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    Why would it not be appropriate? Just wondering.

    I buy Kraft shredded and block cheeses all the time, especially when they go on sale. Mostly sharp cheddar, monterey jack and mozzarella; and some of the mixed cheese blends, depending on my mood/what's cooking. I also buy the good parm in block but will also buy shredded parm depending on the recipe.
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  9. #9
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    Depends on the mood I'm in- and how my shoulder is feeling

    I don't have a food processor, so I have to break out the elbow grease to do some serious grating. So, I typically buy mozzarella and cheddar pre-shredded.

    Parm and other hard cheeses I exclusivly buy in block form. MMM, cheese...
    Life finds a way to amaze and amuse me everyday.

  10. #10
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    Most of the time, for recipes, I buy pre-grated cheese. The only time I buy whole cheese is if it is not available pre-grated or if I want to serve it on crackers.

  11. #11
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    Cheese - already grated/shredded?

    Basically, I love to talk to other people about food and recipes because this is my passion - even though I do this for a living, I am also a consumer and a Mom. And I need to feed my family everyday, just like everyone else.

    But I did want to state up front where I worked just so eveyone would know -since I do work for Kraft, I may have specific cooking tips and ideas that I have gotten through my work that might be helpful to others.

    But I think we all have our particular own ideas, likes and dislikes which is what makes it all so interesting.

    I appreciate everyone's responses either way. Let's keep chatting!

    LISA

  12. #12
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    We buy all of our cheese in brick form or sliced fresh from the deli. I don't have to worry about my shoulder acting up. DH does all of the grating . He wouldn't have it any other way. The grater gets free samples

  13. #13
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    I grate my own parmesan, asiago, etc., but I prefer low-fat and even fat-free ( ) cheeses in varieties such as cheddar and so forth and I typically can't find these in anything other than pre-shredded. I'm comfortable with this.

  14. #14
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    I almost always grate and rarely if ever buy Kraft. I'm afraid when I think of Kraft I think "cheese food," i.e., those American cheese singles.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  15. #15
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    I buy both. The block cheeses last longer in the fridge but the shredded can be frozen so I do a little of both. I really like the Kraft 2% sharp chedder (not the mild) - it's the only reduced-fat cheddar cheese I've found that really adds flavor. I'd love to see a 2% swiss or 2% monterrey jack.
    Stacy

  16. #16
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    If available I'll buy the cheese pre-grated/shredded. I just don't want to have to deal with it usually, especially during the week.
    Marie

    -- The future is no place to place your better days

  17. #17
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    I buy the shredded stuff very occasionally. I prefer the taste and texture when I grate it myself. Plus I actually enjoy grating cheese. Weird, I know
    - Kiran

  18. #18
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    I realize this thread is not about Kraft, but I thought I'd add here that a panel of experts recently did a blind taste test of the major store brands, including Cabot, of Cheddar. I forget where...Times, America's Test Kitchens? In any case, the foil wrapped Kraft bar was rated the highest, with several remarking that they wouldn't think twice about serving it on their best cheese tray.

    As for the original question: I buy both, largely depending on what's on sale. The store brand or Cabot shredded, on sale, is usually about the same as the whole bars, so the expense isn't really a big deal. Besides, shredded cheese is rarely the primary ingredient in most of the things I cook, just a small part, the CL way!

    One thing no one has mentioned about shredded is that the shelf life is shorter than whole bars, so I generally won't buy it unless I know there's an immediate use.

    Ditto everyone else on the parm.

    Bob

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljt2r View Post
    I almost always grate and rarely if ever buy Kraft. I'm afraid when I think of Kraft I think "cheese food," i.e., those American cheese singles.
    I agree...I've never bought pre-shredded cheese (Kraft or otherwise)...I don't think it's really a huge timesaver, it only takes 5 minutes to shred cheese IMO.

    And, anyways, I'm very Anti-Kraft so I don't buy ANY Kraft products...no offense...

    I also get the feeling that you're trying to solicit the products and if you just wanted more ideas of what to do with shredded cheese you wouldn't have gone out of your way to inform us that you work for Kraft, you could have simply said "need ideas of what to do with bags of shredded cheese"...just saying...I think the message boards on the Kraft website would be a better place for that...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226 View Post
    I realize this thread is not about Kraft, but I thought I'd add here that a panel of experts recently did a blind taste test of the major store brands, including Cabot, of Cheddar. I forget where...Times, America's Test Kitchens? In any case, the foil wrapped Kraft bar was rated the highest, with several remarking that they wouldn't think twice about serving it on their best cheese tray.

    As for the original question: I buy both, largely depending on what's on sale. The store brand or Cabot shredded, on sale, is usually about the same as the whole bars, so the expense isn't really a big deal. Besides, shredded cheese is rarely the primary ingredient in most of the things I cook, just a small part, the CL way!

    One thing no one has mentioned about shredded is that the shelf life is shorter than whole bars, so I generally won't buy it unless I know there's an immediate use.

    Ditto everyone else on the parm.

    Bob
    This is the biggest reason I never buy it--I would prefer to have stuff I know we MIGHT end up shredding just sitting around in bars so that they are there and waiting when I need them.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by erinlovesmarc View Post
    I also get the feeling that you're trying to solicit the products and if you just wanted more ideas of what to do with shredded cheese you wouldn't have gone out of your way to inform us that you work for Kraft, you could have simply said "need ideas of what to do with bags of shredded cheese"...just saying...I think the message boards on the Kraft website would be a better place for that...
    She's been nice and forthcoming. I think your comment is entirely uncalled for.

    Bob

  22. #22
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    I usually use preshredded cheeses. I like to use them for quick quesadillas. I can just grab a little bit and then zip up the bag until the next time. the parmesan I usually buy pre-grated from the deli. but my DH actually doesn't mind the stuff in the green can so he always has one of those on hand.

  23. #23
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    I buy shredded cheese for ease and convenience since I'm the one whose going to have to clean the grater(I don't have a box grater so it's the KA or nothing). I love cheese and will grate the Gruyere or the Fontina for a recipe but for tacos I use the 4 cheese blend. I also tend to buy more Sargento (sp) than Kraft because of the fineness of the grate. Though you can't beat Kraft's 5-cheese Italian blend for pizza night!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  24. #24
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    I always buy blocks and shred myself. Someone told me once that wood products were used in preshredded to keep the cheese from sticking together. I just figure it's healthier, and cheaper to do it myself.

  25. #25
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    I usually grate cheese myself - basically because there are oils released in the cheese when you grate it yourself that are absent or have dissolved in pre-shredded cheese. Most of the time your recipes will turn out quite a bit better and I've found I actually use less cheese than the recipe actually calls for and get the same great taste.

    I've used Kraft as well as many other flavors and haven't found much difference at all.

    Welcome to the boards Lisa - jump right in and enjoy yourself.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1965 View Post
    I always buy blocks and shred myself. Someone told me once that wood products were used in preshredded to keep the cheese from sticking together. I just figure it's healthier, and cheaper to do it myself.
    Well, I'd have to have proof of that before I stop using it!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  27. #27
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    I buy both. Generally I only buy parmesan and/or asiago in block form and grate myself, but have on occasion even bought those pre-shredded if I thought it was going to be a big time/stress saver for me. Other types of cheese like cheddar, mozzarella, etc. I buy both ways frequently. When DH makes nachos he's going for quantity, not quality, so the pre-shredded stuff is great for him. If the cheese is one of many components in the recipe, I will generally use the pre-shredded, if it's a major component in the flavor of the dish (like mac and cheese), I will buy a block of good quality (not typical grocery store) cheese and grate myself. We also like to snack on cheese, so I buy blocks for that. Can't wait for the weather to warm up enough to sit outside after work and have cheese, bread and wine for dinner on the patio. One of our favorite summer dinners. Our favorite cheese is extra sharp cheddar, and no pre-shredded cheddar really compares to say a 4, 5 or even 7 year aged cheddar. The sharper the better.
    Cheryl-If I was organized, I'd be dangerous.

  28. #28
    Lisa - welcome to the boards. Looking forward to more input from you.

    The white "dust" that shows up on the pre-shredded stuff makes me stay away from it. Completely irrational, I suppose, but there ya go.

    I personally prefer chunks 'o cheese.

  29. #29
    I usually buy block, and generally from Costco as it's the best deal per lb of anywhere. But I also buy from the grocery store when blocks are on sale. We do buy the Trader Joes pre-grated Parm/Romano blend. It's darn good. I don't know if it has anti-clumping agents (Ann's reference to "wood" products) as it does clump up some. But it doesn't matter as it's in a large mouthed plastic container that one can dip a spoon into instead of having to shake it out of an opening in the top. I also buy whole parm when I need to. I have a few parm rinds in the freezer waiting for the right soup to drop one into.
    To me, the pre-shredded cheddar, jack and those kinds don't have the same texture and creaminess as the block style that I grate myself. Plus if I want a slice of cheese I don't have to have 2 kinds of cheese in the house. I can get either shredded or slices from the same block.

  30. #30
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    I'll buy the 2% Sharp Cheddar and Mozzarella pre-shredded most of the time. I do by chunks of cheese to cube for DS. Other than that, I will buy a hunk of Parm from Sam's and just cut off the green parts occasionally and shred it
    Michelle

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