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How the Cheese Crumbles

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2009

How do the precrumbled cheeses found in the deli section of the supermarket stack up to the same brands sold in solid block or log form?

We tasted blue cheese, goat cheese, feta, and gorgonzola side by side in their crumbled and solid forms (comparing the same brand of each type) both plain and added to various recipes, including blue cheese dressing, polenta with gorgonzola, spinach dip with feta, and stuffed portobellos. Tasters found the precrumbled versions acceptable in all cases. What we found unacceptable, however, were the price differences. Stella blue cheese that sells for around $8 a pound in block form, for example, is $3.99 for a 5-ounce package in a precrumbled state. That’s a price increase of over 160 percent! At prices like that, we’ll gladly take 30 extra seconds to crumble our own cheese.

BLOCK CHEESE
$8/pound

PRECRUMBLED CHEESE
$12.77/pound