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Good deal on Parmesan?

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Larry Greenly

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Good deal on Parmesan?

by Larry Greenly » Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:21 am

Okay. Let's get this out of the way first: genuine Formaggio Parmigiano Regianno is the best, and for some it's the only parmesan that will touch their refined tastebuds regardless of the cost, yada, yada, yada.

But America's Test Kitchen has said DiGiorno Parmesan is a close second at a fraction of the cost (which I've purchased before).

Today I spied some Stella wedges of parmesan for only $4.99/lb. Is Stella a decent brand at that price?
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John Tomasso

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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by John Tomasso » Sat Oct 14, 2006 8:46 am

No.
I don't find Stella's cheeses very good at all. They have versions of many of the Italian classic cheeses, and I find them all way too salty. They are like the Bolla of cheese.
I've tried many parms made in the USA, and I've yet to find one that I like.
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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by DebA » Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:09 am

Larry Greenly wrote:Okay. Let's get this out of the way first: genuine Formaggio Parmigiano Regianno is the best, and for some it's the only parmesan that will touch their refined tastebuds regardless of the cost, yada, yada, yada.

But America's Test Kitchen has said DiGiorno Parmesan is a close second at a fraction of the cost (which I've purchased before).

Today I spied some Stella wedges of parmesan for only $4.99/lb. Is Stella a decent brand at that price?


No, Larry, not IMHO it isn't, but I'm one of "those people" with the refined tastbuds you referenced in your post. ;) I understand your desire to cut costs given the dear price of P-R everytime I purchase it as well, but do so with the understanding that anything less will taste like it. There is simply no way that a cheese produced quickly for mass marketing and unrefined consumption can begin to compete with the process of creating the definitive P-R. The texture, taste and composition are just plain wrong if one truly desires a primo example of parmesan. :cool:
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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by ChefCarey » Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:15 am

John Tomasso wrote:No.
I don't find Stella's cheeses very good at all. They have versions of many of the Italian classic cheeses, and I find them all way too salty. They are like the Bolla of cheese.
I've tried many parms made in the USA, and I've yet to find one that I like.


John, have you tried the Argentinean Sardo? I've substituted it a few times when I couldn't get the real deal.
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by Larry Greenly » Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:26 am

[quote="Deborah Ackerman] No, Larry, not IMHO it isn't, but I'm one of "those people" with the refined tastbuds you referenced in your post. ;) [/quote]

The disclaimer is to promote discussion of the question asked, not to shut it down by merely exclaiming only the real thing will pass someone's lips.
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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by Robin Garr » Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:53 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:Today I spied some Stella wedges of parmesan for only $4.99/lb. Is Stella a decent brand at that price?


Piling on belatedly, Larry, I'm not fond of Stella either. It's palatable, but the brand has always struck me as "dumbed down" for mass-market American tastes.

If you don't want to spend for Parmigiano Reggiano (although I think it's worth it), can you find Italian Grana Padano locally? Especially once grated, it's a decent substitute at maybe half the price.
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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by Jenise » Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:02 pm

Larry, I haven't seen but twp episodes of that show in my life, but I saw the one where they tested the cheeses just last week. And yes, tasting fresh and blind, the guy with the glasses liked the DiGiorno--IIRC he even picked it over the real thing. But there were two caveats, that the Reggiano was not fresh grated, which the tester said would have reversed the taster's impressions, and the way the cheeses cook if one were to use either. Only the Reggiano would melt.

Stella is not only tasteless, it turns into rubber. So does Bel Gioso. I've tried them both.

Robin's advice about Grana is great.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by DebA » Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:26 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:[


Larry, I answered the question you posed (i.e. Is Stella a decent brand at that price?) but didn't feel it necessary to repeat what John had already stated about the quality of some of the lesser parmesans. I wasn't attempting to "shut down" the discussion by contributing my opinion, just sharing my personal perspective. As you are apparently looking for another type of response, I apologize for the offending input.
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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by Larry Greenly » Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:39 pm

No offense intended. You did, indeed, respond to the question. I have no problem with anyone stating that Stella is crap or good or whatever. I was referring to people who don't respond at all to the question, but merely state they eat only [whatever]--and that's the end of the discussion.
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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by Carrie L. » Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:27 pm

I believe it was Cook's Illustrated which also rated DiGiorno the best tasting "readily available" parmesan cheese. I love Parm/Reg, but for some things find it too strong tasting. One of those dishes being caesar salad, where I'd rather taste a prominence of lemon and coarse-ground black pepper. I tried DiGiorno and found it to be perfect in a Caesar and perfectly acceptable for other uses.
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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by Bob Henrick » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:46 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:No offense intended. You did, indeed, respond to the question. I have no problem with anyone stating that Stella is crap or good or whatever. I was referring to people who don't respond at all to the question, but merely state they eat only [whatever]--and that's the end of the discussion.


Larry, I agree with your take on this question. I can take almost any answer to a question like yours, EXCEPT, for one that says something like, I don't eat that cheap crap" I would rather hear nothing than something like that.
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Good deal on Parmesan?

by Larry Greenly » Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:14 am

Ding, ding, ding, ding! You are, indeed, an enlightened man who gets it.

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