"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Eggs, Cheese & Dairy
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-16-2015, 04:10 PM   #1
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 706
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?

dcSaute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 09:32 PM   #2
Executive Chef
 
bakechef's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,127
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.

Sent from my XT1080 using Discuss Cooking mobile app
__________________
I'm Bloggin'

https://bakingbetter.com
bakechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 09:46 PM   #3
Master Chef
 
jabbur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 5,637
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.
__________________
I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
jabbur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 09:56 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,016
I'm a Velveeta user, and unashamed! We also get the store brand of shredded cheddar, seems to last a long time.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 10:56 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 24,688
We usually get store-brand extra sharp cheddar from Kroger. Sometimes Kraft if we have a coupon.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 11:56 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Cheryl J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 10,088
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. :-)
__________________
Grandchildren fill the space in your heart you never knew was empty.
Cheryl J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 07:28 AM   #7
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 706
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.....
dcSaute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 10:46 AM   #8
Master Chef
 
jabbur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 5,637
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.
__________________
I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
jabbur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 10:56 AM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,016
Quote:
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.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 03:02 PM   #10
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 1,313
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.
Bigjim68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 03:13 PM   #11
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
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.

I also think that Cabot is by far the best national brand

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.

Yes, aged cheese can be grainy in a good way, but a grainy cheese sauce is a sign that it's broken due to high heat. Not good.

Cheese = yum!
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 11:21 PM   #12
Executive Chef
 
bakechef's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,127
I really like using half processed cheese like American helps with the creaminess, and I use a sharper natural cheese for the rest.

Sent from my XT1080 using Discuss Cooking mobile app
__________________
I'm Bloggin'

https://bakingbetter.com
bakechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 12:18 AM   #13
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
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.
Cabot for me also. Because we live so close to Vermont, New England gets fresh deliveries daily. And all their brands are plentiful and easy to find in the supermarkets.

There are other national brands, but I grew up with Cabot's cheeses. I love their Swiss Cheese. A good strong hearty flavor. And one more item in favor of Cabot's. I have yet to see the dreaded orange food coloring in their cheeses.
I always look for their Reserved cheese which is available for a very short time. That is in their black wrapper.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 09:56 AM   #14
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 1,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Cabot for me also. Because we live so close to Vermont, New England gets fresh deliveries daily. And all their brands are plentiful and easy to find in the supermarkets.

There are other national brands, but I grew up with Cabot's cheeses. I love their Swiss Cheese. A good strong hearty flavor. And one more item in favor of Cabot's. I have yet to see the dreaded orange food coloring in their cheeses.
I always look for their Reserved cheese which is available for a very short time. That is in their black wrapper.
The black wrapped Cabot here is generally only found at Costco, but pick it up whenever I visit Costco.
Bigjim68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 11:01 AM   #15
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 706
I gandered the Giant. it's pretty grim. no Kraft other than sliced/shredded.
no Cabot. all the store brand cheddars come from the same USDA facility - so mebets the Colby change may well affect the other types as well.

Boar Head at the deli but it's extra sharp; no mild - of any brand except for one imported mild cheddar at $8.95 for a four ounce package. that's not gonna happen.
I did some find some Colby Jack - should try that I suppose.

we also have Weiss (across the street from Giant) and an Aldi (20 mins) - with the decline in Giant I've been shopping more at Weiss so I need to check there.
dcSaute is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cheese

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.