January 14, 2010

Shred, Cube, or Dice Your Own Cheese If You Don't Want the Additives

Shredded cheese may be a time-saver, and it sure is popular -- all those varieties hanging up there, on the store displays.  Low-fat, 8 ounces, 12 ounces, Mexican Blend, Pizza Combo, ... and I admit to grabbing a bag or two in my time. 

No more.  I admit it: I first heard about this (and I'm getting to the "this") while listening to Wolfgang Puck sell his wares on television (I like to have HSN or QVC running in the background sometimes when I'm writing.  I'm not sure what this may mean to psychologists, since I'm a simple living fanatic.)

Suddenly, Wolfgang catches my attention.  He's grating some beautiful yellow cheese, and he's explaining that he always grates his cheeses because he wants to avoid the additive that is used to keep shredded cheese from clumping up in the cute litte bags.  He says "clumping" in a very endearing way, in that nice accent he has.  Still.  What? WHAT did he say? 

Yes, Dear Reader, it's true.  I went to my trusty computer and surfed around about this.  It's true, and thank you, Wolfgang. 

They add an "anticaking agent" to any cheese that is packaged "chunked, diced, or shredded" to keep it from molding faster and to reduce stickiness/clumping.  It's patented and you can read about the patent online, as well as the list of ingredients: "fine mesh vegetable flour, bentonite, cellulose, and antimycotic agents/bacterial cultures."



Ginny said...

I never thought about that, thanks for the information :) I will have to start buying block cheese from now on. We always buy the shredded cheese.

Anonymous said...

Ruined two batches of cheese straws before I read the packaging and realized what the problem was. I'll be shredding it myself from now on - AFTER checking the packaging of the block cheese.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi DeDe,
Sorry to hear that you lost two batches of cheese straws! But so glad you wrote ... we're finally out of the triple-digit weather here in SA, and Fall Weather is coming soon.

I've put Cheese Straws on my list of things to make ... folks just love them, and until you wrote I had forgotten all about them.

Thanks so much!!!

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