Parmisan Cheese in a Can

So what is that stuff? The cans say it is the real thing, but there seems to be a real taste difference to me. Does the stuff ever get moldy? Why not?

I’ve never had a shaker of Parmesan be bad when I’ve opened it, and it has a shelf life (“sell by” date) of many months.
I’m presuming it’s just heated (pasturized). When they make Velveeta, it also doesn’t need refrigeration.

They have to add stuff to keep it from clumping into a solid mass and from shedding all its oil, and probably preservatives that keep it from getting moldy as fast as the ol’ fashioned kind.

I prefer the chunk-o-cheese kind, myself. It’s not that big a pain to grate it, and I agree that it tastes much better–less bland. Plus, it melts, which the stuff-in-a-can doesn’t, probably because of the anti-clumping agents.

Sadly, the shiny “Green Foil” shaker of grated cheese has little to do with the real thing. You will often see silicon dioxide (better known as glass) as an antibinding agent in many of these brands.

That said, you bet I still use it. It’s nice to have fine, grated Italian Parmesano Reggiano on your ricotta ravioli con pesto. However, my grade school cafeteria style baked three cheese spaghetti demands the more common variety.

To educate your palate, go to a good Italian delicatessen. Bring a few items to the counter in order to demonstrate your sincerity and ask for samples of the different cheeses. Start with a nibble of the Parmesan, then the Romano and finish with the Reggiano (sheeps milk). Please check the recipe thread link shown below for a shopping list. You will never forget the dinner it prescribes.

Food of the Gods
Italian Ravioli Dinner Menu
[sup]Submitted by Zenster[/sup]

OH MIO MYO!! Zenster uses the shiny “Green Foil” shaker stuff. The end of a Legend?

Just for the halibut, I looked at my can. The declumping agent listed was powdered cellulose. That was the only ingredient besides cheese.