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How to measure grated Parmesan

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When a recipe calls for, say, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, what does that really mean? I assume (perhaps incorrectly) the phrase originated with the green shaker container. In this instance, I usually use the medium hole on a box grater. It's often a recipe that needs the cheese to melt, so too chunky doesn''t work. A microplane is much too fine and I don't think reliable in this case. Has anyone done a weight comparison, i.e., 2 ounces of Parm equals 1/4 cup of box grated cheese on small, medium, large holes?

Thanks for your comments!

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  1. I've never compared, but I wouldn't assume that it refers to what comes out of the green shaker container. I usually use a small holed grater when grating parmesan for pasta. I just grate, measure, and then usually add a little more!

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      Reminds me of Lydia B (PBS Create) grating 'a little formagio' on her soups. Then she grates some more, and a bit more saying 'a lot of formagio'

    2. Personally, i wouldn't be to concerned with exact measurements. You can never have to much parmesan cheese!

      1. You may be looking at those recipes thought up by chemists and engineers. Heck, most people just eyeball it.

        1. It's not exact, and as others have pointed out it needn't be, but as a rule of thumb 2 ounces of Parmesan = 1/2 cup grated.

            1. 1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano using the Moulii grater is exactly 4.05 ounces.

              1 Reply
              1. re: maria lorraine

                ML,

                Sounds good to me! If in doubt, hit the grater two - three more times.

                Hunt

              2. If we are using my "imported" Parmesan, I grate (medium-fine) the amount required, and then hit the grater maybe three more times. Yes, there is air in the mixture, but the extra runs on the grater compensate for this. For me, if I am not sure, a few more passes will make me feel more comfortable.

                Now, this is not at all scientific, but it seems to work well.

                Hunt