Woman finds grated parmesan cheese at Dollar General for over $1 cheaper than Kraft version. It’s not what she expected

@novicedevice/TikTok Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘Why is it brown?’: Woman finds grated parmesan cheese at Dollar General for a $1 cheaper than Kraft version. It’s not what she expected

'Bought at the dollar tree and cheese was the 4th ingredient.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Nov 27, 2023   Updated on Nov 27, 2023, 3:30 pm CST

A Dollar General shopper noticed the chain’s Parmesan cheese is cheaper than Kraft’s. But there’s a catch.

TikToker Novice (@novicedevice_official) sparked curiosity and a bit of humor with her video about parmesan cheese at Dollar General. In a video that attracted 268,000 views, Novice explores the aisles of a Dollar General, focusing on a peculiar discovery: Clover Valley Parmesan Cheese for $3.65. Unlike its traditionally white counterpart, it appears distinctly brown. Positioned next to the familiar $4.60 white Kraft Parmesan cheese, the contrast is, shall we say, puzzling?

Viewers shared their theories and reactions in the comments section. One user bluntly suggested, “Parmesan isn’t shelf stable, that’s sawdust.” Find out here, as this isn’t the first time someone has alleged that bits of wood particles have been in small tubs of the cheese online. 

Another commenter speculated on the product’s age or packaging integrity, saying, “It old or the seals failed.”

There was a commenter who wrote that they scrolled through their Dollar General app only to see that the Clover Valley brand parmesan cheese appears to be white in its promotional photos, not the brown color Novice showed in her clip, adding to the mystery and concern.

Amid the concern, one optimist shared their positive experience, saying, “I have eaten the brown parmesan and it’s 10 times better! lol.” This comment adds a fun perspective to the conversation. 

@novicedevice #dollargeneral ♬ original sound – novicedevice_official

According to Research Gate, while parmesan cheese is known to traditionally be white or very, very light yellow in color, it is not uncommon for the hue of this popular food to turn brown during the ripening process. The National Library of Medicine also described this phenomenon, writing, “Brown pigmentation can occasionally form … creating an unappealing appearance and associated off-flavors.”

The biggest question, though, is if the browned Parmesan cheese is safe to eat. According to to Cully’s Kitchen, tossing parmesan cheese that’s turned “dark brown or grey” is best to throw right into the trash, and not down your gullet.

While TikTok is known for its educational content, life hacks, and advice-driven videos, Novice’s post highlights another aspect of the platform: entertainment. The Clover Valley Parmesan cheese mystery, while perhaps not the most pressing issue, is a perfect example of how TikTok can turn even a mundane grocery shopping experience into a topic of widespread interest and perhaps a chuckle.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Dollar General via email and Novice via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Nov 27, 2023, 11:30 pm CST