store-bought parmesan

7 Best Store-Bought Parmesan Cheese

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Parmesan cheese can take so many meals to the next level, whether it is pasta, soup, salad, or even added to a pesto. It is one of those ingredients that you simply need to have in your fridge at all times because there is so much you can do with it.

Parmesan cheese has a rich, nutty, tangy, sharp, fruity, and bold flavor, but how deep these flavors are, and how pronounced they are, all depends on the quality of the cheese.

Which are the best store-bought parmesan cheeses?

When buying parmesan cheese, you want to make sure you are choosing a quality, delicious cheese to use. The best store-bought parmesan cheese would be a true parmesan, and it would have been aged enough to have the bold, tangy flavors which you would expect.

To help you only ever choose the best parmesan for your meals, read on for our top recommendations, as well as a little more on the delicious cheese!

What Is Parmesan Cheese Made From?

Parmesan cheese originated in Italy and is now a popular cheese enjoyed worldwide. The three main ingredients used to make parmesan are milk, salt, and rennet, which is an enzyme extracted from a calf’s stomach. 

This enzyme is used to coagulate and thicken the milk, but it means that parmesan is not vegetarian, as most other cheeses are. To make parmesan more accessible for more diets, parmesan can instead be made with a plant-based rennet.

The flavor intensity of parmesan is largely determined by how long the cheese is left to age. The longer it is aged, the sharper the flavor, and the more grainy the cheese will be. 

Popularly, parmesan is now also made with cellulose powder, especially if it is sold already grated, as this helps to prevent it from caking.

How to Choose the Best Parmesan Cheese

There are some things you should keep in mind when picking out the best parmesan at the store, to ensure that you buy high-quality, great-tasting cheese!

Here are some things to consider:

Age of the Cheese

The age of the cheese will indicate how strong the flavor is, and the texture as well. Parmesan can be aged between 10 to 36 months.

  • 10 Months – Most store-bought parmesans are aged for around 10 months, giving them a mild, creamy flavor and aroma.
  • 12 Months – This parmesan has a slightly acidic flavor, with milky notes. It has a smooth texture with a mild aroma.
  • 24 Months – Parmesan aged for 24 months has a sweeter, fruitier flavor and aroma, with more tang to it. It has a firm yet granular texture.
  • 36 Months – This is the strongest parmesan to enjoy. It will have a spicy, nutty aroma with a punch of flavor, and have quite a gritty and crunchy texture. There will also be some crystallization on the cheese.

Grated/Not Grated

You will be able to find parmesan cheese grated or sold whole at the store. Which one you choose really will be up to you.

store-bought parmesan

If you use it in its grated form, then buying it ready-grated would be a good option, as it cuts out the work for you. Most of the time, grated parmesan is also sold in an easy-to-use shaker too.

However, if you prefer control over your parmesan cheese, and if you would use it grated, sliced, and flaked, then purchasing a solid wedge of cheese would be better. It also gives you the option to serve the parmesan on a cheese board!

One thing to note is that sometimes grated parmesan can lose its flavor slightly, so it might be better to buy it whole to keep its best flavor.

Authenticity Sticker

If parmesan, or Parmigiano Reggiano, is made according to specific regulations and techniques, it would have the certifying DOP sticker on it. This Denominazione di Origine Protetta sticker shows that the cheese comes from the right part of Italy.

It is definitely worth looking for this sticker if you are buying a wedge of parmesan cheese, but you probably won’t be able to find it on grated parmesan too often.

This sticker means that the parmesan will have the authentic, traditional taste and texture, but there are also some great options without it, it would just depend on what you prefer.

The Best Store-Bought Parmesan Cheese

Now that you know what to look for in store-bought parmesan cheese, here are some of the better options you can find at the store!

RankParmesan BrandKey Features
1.Kraft Grated Parmesan CheeseMild parmesan with a flavor-lock cap; Doesn’t become clumpy; long shelf life.
2.Sartori Sarvecchio Parmesan Cheese WedgeAged for 20 months for a strong; Tangy flavor, salty, caramel-sweet, and creamy; Sold in a wedge, versatile usage.
3.Milano’s Grated Imported Parmesan CheeseStrong, pungent aroma and sharp taste; Melts well on dishes; Finely grated texture.
4.Whole Foods Market Grated Parmesan CheeseCertified vegetarian and low in sodium; Finely grated; Aged for under a year; Tangy, sharp flavor.
5.BelGioioso Parmesan Cheese WedgeMade with fresh, local Wisconsin milk; Artisanally aged for a firm, hard texture; Sweet and nutty flavor.
6.Frigo Shredded Parmesan CheeseMild, buttery flavor; Larger shreds than grated parmesan; Convenient tub packaging.
7.Mama Francesca Premium Parmesan CheeseParmesan blend with Asiago and Romano; Tangy, sharp, nutty flavor; Comes in a plastic bottle with a shaker-top.

When looking through the list – consider how you prefer your parmesan cheese, whether grated or in a wedge, and how strong you prefer the flavor to be.

1. Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese

Check Current Price on Walmart

Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese

Kraft has a wide range of really great products, and their grated parmesan cheese is definitely one you should keep in your fridge.

The large container of grated parmesan is ideal to keep at home for when you want a burst of cheesy flavor on your food. The grated parmesan is sold in a shaker bottle with a flavor-lock cap, so not only is the parmesan easy to sprinkle on your food, but the flavor is kept protected when it is stored away.

It is a fairly mild parmesan, as it is not left to age for too long, but this makes it a great option for the family, as it won’t be too strong for some, but it will still have that parmesan-flavor you would be after.

Unlike some other grated parmesan cheese, the Kraft Grated Parmesan does not become clumpy, so you get to use the whole bottle in its best texture.

It has a long shelf life too, so it can be kept in the fridge until you use it up. For a mild, grated parmesan, in large quantities for the family, this is one of the best options you will find!

2. Sartori Sarvecchio Parmesan Cheese Wedge

Check Current Price on Target

Sartori Sarvecchio Parmesan Cheese Wedge

If you are looking for a strong, sharp, nutty parmesan cheese, then the Sartori Sarvecchio Parmesan Cheese Wedge is definitely one you should consider buying.

As the name gives away, this parmesan is sold in wedge form, so you can grate it, shred it, slice it, or serve it in cubes on a cheeseboard.

This cheese is aged for 20 months, so it has a sharp, tangy flavor, but it is also salty, caramel-sweet, and beautifully creamy as well. It is savory, nutty, and all things you could want a parmesan cheese to be.

As it is aged for 20 months, it has a crumbly, grainy texture to it, but it is still creamy, making it a great addition to many different dishes.

It is a great cheese to serve with pears or walnuts, as the flavor notes highlight these other ingredients well. It also won an award for the best cheese in the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest!

3. Milano’s Grated Imported Parmesan Cheese

Check Current Price on Amazon

Milano’s Grated Imported Parmesan Cheese

Milano’s Grated Imported Parmesan Cheese is a fairly strong grated cheese, which has a pungent aroma and a sharp taste, so you get the full flavor of parmesan already grated, saving you the effort!

Some grated parmesan cheese brands don’t melt well, but Milano’s Imported Parmesan Cheese is one that melts really well on different dishes, such as pasta and pizza.

It is a finely grated parmesan cheese, almost powdery, which allows it to blend into different dishes well, and which makes it great to use on popcorn too!

While it is powdery and fine, it still packs a punch of flavor, and it will definitely become your go-to tangy cheese.

4. Whole Foods Market Grated Parmesan Cheese

Check Current Price on Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market Grated Parmesan Cheese

The Whole Foods Market Grated Parmesan Cheese is a vegetarian option, so more people get to enjoy the beautiful flavors of this aged cheese without compromising their diet.

Not only is this parmesan vegetarian, but it is low in sodium too, so it really is a great option for those who have certain dietary restrictions.

Being a certified vegetarian, there is no doubt as to where the enzymes come from, so you can happily enjoy the grated parmesan on any meal you want.

It is a finely grated parmesan cheese, which makes it ideal to add to pasta and sauces, as it melts in well and doesn’t clump or stick together.

The small bottle keeps the grated parmesan protected while it is kept in the fridge, and you can easily shake it onto your meals with the handy shaker top.

Aged for just under a year, it has a tangy, sharp flavor to it, without being too strong and overwhelming in flavor, but still with the undeniable parmesan taste!

5. BelGioioso Parmesan Cheese Wedge

Check Current Price on Walmart

The BelGioioso Parmesan Cheese has a sweet, nutty flavor, and is an award-winning parmesan cheese that really needs to be tasted.

The cheese is made with fresh, local Wisconsin milk, and other natural quality ingredients. It then goes through an artisanal aging process, which gives the cheese a firm, hard texture, with a sweet and nutty flavor profile, and signature tanginess.

As the cheese is sold in a wedge, you can use it in many different ways, whether you slice it, cut it, grate it, or cube it. It is ideal to serve alongside almonds and fruit, especially paired with these on a cheese board.

The cheese is aged for 10 months in special caves, allowing it to develop a hearty texture and nutty flavor.

6. Frigo Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Check Current Price on Walmart

Frigo Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Frigo Parmesan Cheese is crafted with the freshest and finest dairy ingredients, giving the parmesan cheese a mild buttery flavor. To make it more convenient for you, the cheese is shredded and packaged in a useful tub.

It is a great cheese to sprinkle over soup, pasta, risotto, salads, and more. The shreds are larger than grated parmesan, so you get more cheese with each bite and more flavor.

As it isn’t left to age for too long, it does have a milder, creamier flavor, but this is ideal for the whole family, and when you want to add a parmesan flavor to your meal without it being too overpowering.

As the shredded cheese is larger than grated parmesan, you can serve it on a cheeseboard with some fruit and nuts, and you can pop it onto some crackers for a delicious snack too.

7. Mama Francesca Premium Parmesan Cheese

Check Current Price on Walmart

Mama Francesca Premium Parmesan Cheese

Mama Francesca Premium Parmesan Cheese is a parmesan blend, featuring asiago and romano, and while this means it isn’t strictly only parmesan, it has a great flavor that you will definitely appreciate.

The blend of flavors in the parmesan helps it elevate many different dishes with a tangy, sharp, and nutty flavor.

The grated cheese comes in a plastic bottle with a shaker-top, and a lid that protects the cheese while it is stored away. It is aged for close to a year, and made in small batches, so it has a sharp flavor without being too strong.

Unlike some other grated parmesan cheese brands, and as this has romano and asiago cheese, it can be used in cooked dishes too, as it is beautifully creamy.

The grated cheese also does not clump together, so you get to use it all up without any going to waste.

How Should You Store Parmesan?

You need to store your parmesan properly in the fridge, to keep it in the best condition for longer. Parmesan has quite a long shelf-life compared to some other types of cheese, but it still needs to be stored properly.

If the parmesan cheese is grated, then you can keep it stored in its initial container, as long as it seals tightly, or as long as it is air-tight.

If it is a wedge of cheese, it is best to wrap the parmesan cheese in parchment paper or to keep it in an airtight container.

Stored properly, a wedge of parmesan cheese can be kept in the fridge for up to two months.

7 Best Store-Bought Parmesan Cheese

There are some great parmesan options to choose from at grocery stores, you just need to know what to look for!

You are also spoiled for choice when it comes to how you want to purchase your parmesan, whole in a wedge, grated, or shredded, it really depends on how you prefer to eat your parmesan, and how you use it most often.

Above, we have listed the various things to consider when looking for parmesan at your grocery store, and some of the best options that you will find at most supermarkets.

Hopefully, you will find your new favorite parmesan from the list above, and enjoy the sharp, nutty, and fruity flavor that parmesan has!

Related Questions

Can You Find Real Parmesan in the US?

You can definitely find real parmesan in the U.S., you just have to know what to look for. It should have a special DPO seal and authentication sticker, showing it was made with the right ingredients and in the traditional area.

What Is the Difference Between Parmigiano-Reggiano and Parmesan?

Often, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Parmesan are used interchangeably, but they are slightly different. Parmigiano-Reggiano is aged for at least a year, and up to three years, whereas parmesan is less regulated and is aged for around 10 months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *