"Why Is It Brown?" — Woman Disgusted by Dollar General Off-Brand Parmesan Cheese

Kelly Corbett - Author
By

Nov. 30 2023, Published 5:36 p.m. ET

Food is expensive these days. Price gouging and inflation entered the convo in 2020, and ever since, our grocery store bills have been skyrocketing. Take it from this shopper who was taken aback after discovering a jar of popular mayo alternative, Miracle Whip, cost a whopping $13.99 at a Key Foods location in her area.

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And on top of feeling like we’re getting robbed off at the register, sometimes the food we bring home is kind of sus. Remember when this woman bought a watermelon at Aldi and cut it open only to find out it was completely hollow? Or when this shopper found bugs in an unexpired seasoning bottle purchased from Walmart? Why does buying food sometimes feel like a prank? I mean if we're gonna pay so much, the goods should at least be, well, good.

That said, one woman recently took to TikTok to question some funky-looking Parmesan cheese being sold at a Dollar General store. While Dollar General is classified as a discount store — and not a grocery store — that doesn’t mean customers aren’t entitled to trustworthy quality. No one should feel uneasy about the foods they're paying money for.

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A photo of Clover Valley Grated Parmesan Cheese, 8 Oz from Dollar General's website.
Source: Dollar General

A photo of Clover Valley Grated Parmesan Cheese, 8 Oz from Dollar General's website.

One woman was disturbed after finding brown Parmesan cheese being sold at Dollar General.

TikTok user @novicedevice took to the platform to show other shoppers what made her do a double take (and not in a good way) while shopping at Dollar General.

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"Why is it brown?" she whispers as she picks up a bottle of Clover Valley Parmesan Cheese on a shelf at a Dollar General. For reference, the Clover Valley brand is exclusively sold at Dollar General.

"Parmesan is white and so is Romano [cheese]," she continues as she picks up another bottle from the brand — Clover Valley Parmesan and Romano Grated Cheese — which has a similar unsettling brown hue.

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On Dollar General's website, both the Clover Valley Parmesan Grated Cheese and Clover Valley Parmesan and Romano Grated Cheese appear to be white in color.

Also seen in @novicedevice's video was Kraft's Grated Parmesan Cheese for sale, which did look to be the normal color. However, it cost almost a dollar more than the Clover Valley cheeses.

Users took to the comment section of @novicedevice's video to weigh in on the peculiar-looking Clover Valley cheese.

Many argued that Parmesan couldn't be preserved in a grated cheese form and that whatever was in those bottles was not cheese.

"Parmesan isn't shelf stable, that's sawdust," wrote one person.

Another said: "Because that has zero percent real Parmigiano or Romano. It's all wood pulp — it’s just showing its true colors."

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tiktok comment dollar general brown cheese
Source: tiktok

Meanwhile, one user who claimed to be a Dollar General employee also had some thoughts, writing, "Definitely check the dates [on] the Clover Valley [bottles]. I noticed [it] goes brown when expired."

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tiktok comment dollar general brown cheese
Source: tiktok

However, @novicedevice wrote back that she did check the dates on the bottles, and they weren't expired, which added even more mystery to the cheese's appearance.

One comment just read: "Idk wtf people are consuming. I’d rather pay for the fresh s---."

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tiktok comments brown parmesan cheese
Source: tiktok

Meanwhile, some folks argued that the correct color of Parmesan cheese is brown, which, well, is an internet battle for another day.

In conclusion, the Clover Valley grated cheese products containing Parmesan were brown and we still don't know why. We're told by @novicedevice that they weren't expired, and a look on Dollar General's website shows that the cheese is supposed to look white.

Distractify reached out to Dollar General for comment.

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