Grate Expectations: Why You Shouldn’t Use Pre-Grated Cheese in Your Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels

Pasta is really one of those staple dishes you never get tired of. There are so many fabulous sauce options to choose from, and many of those include all sorts of grated cheese (yum). So far so good, right? But wait—before you reach for that pre-grated packet on your next grocery store visit, think again. Here are a couple of important cons to consider.

Flavor and Expiration Date

In terms of flavor, pre-grated cheese is somewhat like a faded photocopy of the original. Its taste tends to fade after sitting on the grocery store shelf for an extended period, and that’s probably not what you’re aiming for in your mouthwatering sauce creation. Also, rather counterintuitively, pre-grated cheese tends to start going bad quicker than freshly grated one.

Fillers and Textures

Now, let’s move on to what’s actually in pre-grated cheese (spoiler alert: it’s not just cheese). Pre-grated shreds aren’t as innocent as they seem and contain plenty of fillers, which can not only poorly affect taste, but also ruin texture. Simply put: your silky sauce dreams might end up crushed under the weight of cellulose.

So, rather than automatically heading to the pre-grated cheese aisle, it’s recommended to opt for a fresh cheese block and take some (very little) extra time for grating. Once you have a taste of that amazing pasta sauce, you’ll know you made the right choice.