How much canned grated parmesan should I substitute for fresh

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18 Comments

ChefJune March 1, 2016
Many grocery stores these days sell grated domestic Parmesan or even grated Parmigiano Reggiano in their cheese sections. And many of the pizzerias in my area use pre-grated cheese, but not Kraft. [BTW, the Kraft used to be real cheese in the can -- back in the day when Mr. Kraft owned the company.]
 
ChefJune March 1, 2016
Actually there is very little cheese of any kind in that "can of Parmesan" you are thinking of using. It in no way compares with fresh, even the domestic Parmesans are far better. I would get some, pronto! :)
 
paseo February 29, 2016
I am of an age when the only parmesan available came in a green can and I am sure there are still places where that is still true. We didn't all grow up near an Italian grocery...Little Italy not withstanding. The 'real' stuff has to be refrigerated and the canned is a shelf item. And Pernicano's is in PB not La Jolla and unfortunately, it hasn't aged well.
 
702551 February 29, 2016
You can buy Parmigiano Reggiano at Amazon.com. Availability in Bangladesh or Madagascar, maybe, but not in the USA.
 
Susan W. February 29, 2016
I know it hasn't aged well. I was reciting from nice memories. I always think of that little strip of shops part of La Jolla, but thanks for the geography lesson. I offered to take my Mom there when I recently visited. She declined and requested clams from El Pescador instead.
 
702551 February 29, 2016
I meant to say that availability of true parmesan might be tricky in some countries afar (like Bangladesh or Madagascar), but availability of that cheese is not definitely not difficult in the USA.
 
Susan W. February 29, 2016
@CV, Lol. I wondered what you were on about. :)
 
702551 February 28, 2016
I love freshly grated parmesan, but I don't think the canned/industrial-grade stuff is *that* much saltier than the freshly grated stuff.

I sprinkle the restaurant grade stuff onto pizzas from a shaker once or twice a year.

I stand by my original response that a 1:1 substitution is a reasonable starting post and that you should be one who makes the call. We don't know what you like, we don't know what your dinner table guests like. That's up for you to decide. If you are trying to satisfy a bunch of eaters with varying tastes (friends family, etc.), it's really up to you to find that "happy medium."

No one here knows the answer to that unique equation.
 
Susan W. February 28, 2016
You know, I've been thinking about those shakers on the tables at two of my favorite pizza joints. Nothing trendy, just darn good crust cooked perfectly.

One place is in Del Mar in the San Diego area. I worked there while in high school and college. It was called Carnegie A 440. Overlooks the ocean in Del Mar. It's been there since the 70s.

The other one is Pernicano's in La Jolla right down the hill from my mom's house. Her best friend worked there forever. They're both 88 now. Mr. Pernicano sat at the piano and sang on the weekends. It's still there as well.

Both of these places still use the pre-grated parm and have dried chili flakes on all the tables. A hot slice with a cold draft beer from either of those places and all is right with the world. Not sure what it is, but I love the aroma of that parm.
 
HalfPint February 28, 2016
I would use less than 1:1. The canned stuff can be a lot saltier.
 
Susan W. February 28, 2016
Actually, the canned kraft is 3% sodium. That's less than salted butter which is usually 4% in the US.
 
702551 February 28, 2016
I think the previous 1:1 substitution is a reasonable and logical starting point.

Ultimately, it's your decision. The primary objective for any home cook is to put something on the table that will please the eaters (and if you're eating it, that means you). People have different taste buds, there are difference brands of cheese, thus there is no way of anyone here to tell you what's best for your tastes.

And this principle isn't on parmesan cheese. How much salt do you put in a dish? How spicy do you like your chili? How much garlic do you add to pesto? Those are all answers that at the end of the day, you need to figure out yourself. A recipe is a suggestion, not gospel.

In the end, you make the call. You're going to eat it, not us.

Good luck.
 

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Susan W. February 28, 2016
Neither of you answered his question, but instead cheese shamed him. That happens far too often on this site. We don't know the circumstances. I remember growing up, my Grandmother used the stuff in a can. Her spaghetti and meatballs sprinkled with the canned stuff were delicious in my memory. Yes, most prefer fresh, ungrated parm, but his question was how to substitute the canned.

It sort of depends what you are making. I vaguely remember the pre-ground park being earlier and stronger tasting than fresh, but I'm not sure how accurate my memory is. You can probably substitute 1:1, but it would help to know what you are using it for.
 
Susan W. February 28, 2016
good Lord.."pre-ground park" and "being earlier" should read "pre-ground parm" and "saltier". Sigh.
 
Smaug February 28, 2016
Hard to avoid snark on this question, but any way you look at it, there is no real equivalent; the two substances are just too different.
 
Christiaan February 28, 2016
We don't need your condescending harangue. Thank you very much.
 
LE B. February 28, 2016
canned? yuuuuuck. Toss it out and use the good stuff. Really, it's that different.
 
Christiaan February 27, 2016
I haven't used canned in years, it has wood silica in it and all kinds of stuff. If I was in a jam I would just add a little at a time until you reached the flavor of the dish. Nothing beats fresh grated though. Good luck!
 
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