“ Brand: Somerfield / Type: Cheeses „
When I was a kid, I used to hate the smell of grated parmesan as my dad poured it on his spag bol. Now I'm ana dult, my wife and I wouldn't do without it as a topping for plenty of our meals. However, we do sometimes run out, and I have to pop to our local Somerfield, which is only three doors up, to get some more.
For a 50g tub of grated parmesan, it'll sting you about £1.80 in Somerfield, which is quite expensive when you consider that the same amount in Tesco is closer to the £1 mark. But then, I'm never really impressed with Somerfield's pricing. Sometimes I feel they just price themselves out of the market.
The cheese itself is very nice. It's quite a strong parmesan, apparently, although I don't really see much difference between this and other parmesans I have bought for the same purposes in terms of taste. However, we like the parmesan taste, so this is much better than if it was quite mild.
We found that it went very well on top of our usual pasta and pasta sauce, for which I find it ideal. The cheese doesn't clump together as you sometimes get with pre-grated/pre-shaved cheeses, and we were thankful for this. Once opened, I found we could leave it for quite a few days as it has a resealable lid for its tub.
Packaging has been done well. A relatively solid plastic tub with a resealable lid is a good way to store this. Sometimes, you can get little plastic packets which you have to snip the top off of to get the parmesan out of, and I find these hard to store once you've opened it without it going anywhere.
Overall, a decent product from Somerfield. The cheese and packaging themselves are very good, but the price is way too high for what you actually get. I would get this again if I needed it quickly, as the product is decent, but I wouldn't get it if I had a choice to pop up to Tesco and get a cheaper tub for the same amount and quality.
COST: £1.80 for 50g
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per heaped teaspoon serving):
- of which saturates: 1.0g
Salt equivalent: 0.1g
Found in the chilled cabinet of Somerfield, their own brand of grated parmesan comes in a largely green little plastic packet with an image of a bowl of spaghetti bolognese on the front. The back of the pack has the nutritional information and allergy advice, plus storage instructions, a daily nutritional guidelines table and a warning that the product is made from unpasteurised milk.
The cheese is stated to be extra mature and no.4 on the strength scale, plus there is a little guarantee award of some kind on the front of the packet that the product has been made in accordance with EEC regulations (I maybe wrongly assume that guarantee is because of the product being made from unpasteurised milk).
I love fresh parmesan cheese, yet am far too lazy to grate my own. Mostly I resort to the stuff in plastic tubs, but though I find it adequate, it's far from the real thing and I use it as a convenience more than anything. Sometimes I am able to buy fresh parmesan cheese shavings, which are ideal for me, but on this particular shopping day Somerfield had sold out of those. I spotted this little green pack of grated parmesan, and decided to try it to see if it was better than the stuff in the plastic tub.
I made one of my mind-blowingly delicious vegetarian risottos, piled my plate high with the cooked result, and snipped the edge of the parmesan cheese packet open. The cheese inside was a lovely pale creamy colour (different to the tired-looking greyish hue of the stuff in plastic tubs), and smelled strongly of not processed, but fresh parmesan. The little granules were very fine, and (this is a good sign for me), appeared somewhat moist on the surface, needing a slight fluff-up with a fork before sprinkling over the risotto - it wasn't lumpy at all - just fresh-seeming. As I spooned some of the cheese onto the hot risotto, I noticed it began to melt a little, which indicated to me that there were few or no additives (incidentally, there is no ingredients list on the packet so I assume it's pure unadulterated cheese).
Taste test time! As I moved the forkful of parmesan-covered risotto to my mouth, I noticed a lovely strong, genuine parmesan smell - not that chemically produced stinky feet odour that the stuff in plastic tubs has. On chewing, I was treated to a lovely risotto mixed with what is as close to fresh parmesan cheese flavour as dammit - delicious! Being the greedy pig that I am when it comes to good-tasting food, I ate the whole meal perhaps rather faster than is sensible, but this parmesan (and of course the risotto itself) was so very delicious, that I lost all my self-control. Once I'd finished eating, I sat back - satisfied, and vowing to use Somerfield Grated Parmesan in a little plastic bag again.
The only disadvantage I can see with this cheese is that once the pack is opened, it does need to be used up fairly quickly - but not too much of a problem, as the pack only contains about 3 rounded tablespoons. I'd imagine that an average-sized family would use the whole pack for one meal....I found that it lasted me 4 meals (2 x risotto, and 2 x spaghetti bolognese). This could work out a little expensive for a family, but if you are a single person and just feeding yourself, then it is reasonably economical, and worth paying a bit extra for something that tastes much more authentic than the cheaper version in the plastic tubs.
Somerfield definitely get my seal of warm approval for their parmesan cheese in a little plastic bag, and I strongly recommend it.
Thanks for reading!