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This Is Why Your Packaged Shredded Cheese Doesn’t Melt Right

Rows of packaged shredded cheese are on a grocery store shelf.
The Image Party/Shutterstock.com

You’re making an omelet, topping some chili, or tossing some in your pasta, but no matter what you do, your bagged, grocery-store cheese just won’t melt. You’re doing something wrong, though. There’s a reason why.

Due to the preservatives in pre-packaged cheese, it often won’t melt well when added to dishes.

Store-bought grated cheeses, like parmesan, mozzarella, and cheddar, are often packaged with preservatives like potato starch and natamycin. While that might sound scary, your cheese is totally safe to consume, and the preservatives are what keep it fresh in your fridge for so long. Unfortunately, the side effect of using them comes in melting.

Spring Chef Professional Box Grater

A classic box grater is a great option.

While yes, those preservatives will help to keep your cheese fresh, they also work to not make it clump together in the bag. That same mechanism is at play as you try to melt the cheese. Despite how much heat is applied, the shreds often remain in the same shape and won’t fully blend into that smooth, cheesy layer you might be searching for.

What’s the solution? Well, it’s probably pretty obvious. Grate your own cheese. While pre-grated cheese is convenient and great for quick week day meals, if you really want that flavor punch, grating your own is the way to go. Plus, it might save you a buck or two. Grating your own eight-ounce block of cheese is likely to produce more than a pre-shredded eight-ounce bag.

If you’re a cheese lover and have been disappointed in a few cheesy recipes lately, it might be time to buy a grater and get in an arm workout.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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