Grabbing those bags of shredded cheese at the grocery store is very convenient. I still do buy shredded cheese sometimes, but I am trying to quit doing it and go to always shredding or grating my own cheese.
Why? Taste is the biggest reason.
When you buy shredded cheese there are additives, primarily cellulose which is a natural ingredient and is used to prevent the shredded cheese from clumping together. Some people get upset that cellulose is normally made from trees, but that is not what bothers me; it is the fact that it changes the texture, taste, and pliability of the cheese.
If you have grated cheese yourself, especially something like cheddar, you’ve surely noticed that the cheese was much more moist than what you get in a bag. Have you taken a nibble of that freshly grated cheese? C’mon, we all do it and it is easy to taste the difference!
Another problem with buying the pre-shredded cheese is that it does not melt as easily as freshly grated cheese. It is the ingredients used to keep the cheese from caking together that actually make it harder to melt. If you are not going to switch over to freshly grating your own cheese all the time, I really suggest you at least try to make the switch for any recipe that you want the cheese to melt in.
I have found that when I need to grate lots of cheese, say on a Prep Day, my food processor is the most efficient way. Just a few pulses, and I have all the cheese I need for several recipes.
Still not convinced you should bother shredding your own cheese?
For more on this subject, check out: Shred Your Own Cheese