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Old 08-16-2015, 05:10 PM   #1
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ISO good-quality national brand cheese

our local Giant is in the throes of business suicide - so many things have changed, items dropped, super-cheep/low quality 'store brands' - and now it comes to this.....

been using Giant brand Colby cheese for mac&cheese, souffle, etc. frequently mixed with other types for interest/flavor.

the last year or so I've noticed the Colby is not melting smoothly - it goes grainy. if you look away from the pot the cheese sauce breaks, etc.
(this is 3T butter + 3 T AP flour + milk; stuff I've been doing for decades....)

any recommendations/experience for a national brand ie widely available that still smiles when you say cheese?

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Old 08-16-2015, 10:32 PM   #2
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First I always add my cheese off the heat after the sauce has thickened it will not get hot enough to break and the sauce should have enough heat to melt the cheese. If I have to return it to the heat, it's at the lowest temperature.

I usually just use store brands and they work fine, most stores here have solid store brands. If I'm serving a cheese plate or something, I'll go for better cheese from the deli cheese section.

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Old 08-16-2015, 10:46 PM   #3
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Try Kraft cheeses. They are fairly good and consistent quality. Not always the most flavorful but consistent. I use store brand for my cooking but will splurge on the better brands like Cracker Barrel or Cabot.
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Old 08-16-2015, 10:56 PM   #4
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I'm a Velveeta user, and unashamed! We also get the store brand of shredded cheddar, seems to last a long time.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:56 PM   #5
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We usually get store-brand extra sharp cheddar from Kroger. Sometimes Kraft if we have a coupon.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:56 AM   #6
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I'm careful with any cheese when it comes to applying heat to it. I've had good cheeses break just as easily as store brand. The block of sharp cheddar I have in the fridge right now is Kraft and I'm perfectly happy with it. It was on sale for less than the store brand. :-)
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:28 AM   #7
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thanks - I'll check and see what other brands are in the store.
probably have Kraft, Sargento is stocked but I only recall seeing shredded/sliced pkgs. the deli is store brand / Boars Head - they have cheeses as well.

the Colby used to melt smooth as silk. I've accidented enough to be careful with the heat, etc. Saturday I was extra special careful because I was trying to find out if it was me or the cheese. same stove/pot/burner, same flour/butter/milk brand - but even as it just starts to melt, running a bit up the side with a spoon shows a grainy texture. absolutely not overheated. I've also noticed is seems a bit dry/crumbly compared to past recollections - some blogger likely insisted they make it more healthy.....

this cheap effect is happening throughout the Giant - I think HQ hired a new alien MBA who neither cooks nor eats - but the ET can sure shave pennies.....
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I'm a Velveeta user, and unashamed! We also get the store brand of shredded cheddar, seems to last a long time.
I use Velveeta in my mac and cheese but also add in other stuff like cream cheese and shredded cheddar or Swiss.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jabbur View Post
I use Velveeta in my mac and cheese but also add in other stuff like cream cheese and shredded cheddar or Swiss.

I throw cheese odds and ends along with Velveeta into my broccoli and cauliflower cheese soups.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:02 PM   #10
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Cheese

For me the best national brand I have found is Cabot brand.

They also make several grades, and the top grade cheddar, which comes in a black wrapper, rivals the deli brands in quality. They have a similar top end white cheddar. Both can be hard to find.

Funny someone mentions grainy as a negative. In my experience graininess is a sign of aged cheese. Better for eating, but less aged and therefore less expensive cheeses melt better.
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