This might be the year to forget about spaghetti dinners, unless you like your pasta without cheese.
Due to various complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, some experts are warning that the price of parmesan cheese may be about to skyrocket. While some dairy products saw prices spike last year, parmesan cheese needs to be aged before it can be sold, Eat This, Not That! reports.
According to the outlet, parmesan cheese that was produced in March, April and May 2020 will only now start to ship to distributors. The cost of producing the cheese at one Wisconsin plant reportedly surged between 40% adn 60% during that time period, meaning the cheese that will soon hit shelves will be more expensive than usual.
Neil Cox, Schuman Cheese Chief Customer Officer, told the outlet that that several factors lead to price increases for dairy products last year. He said that the loss of retail and foodservice business hurt the industry, along with a dairy shortage that began last June.
"Younger, fresh, cheeses like mozzarella, cream cheeses, and things like that would have gone up in price pretty much in tandem with these increases nine to 12 months ago," he said.
"I would guess it may slow down consumers' purchase patterns," Cox explained. "But people will, in all likelihood, pay the increase because, ultimately, it's still delivering an experience and flavor."
Another expert, Liz Thorpe, author of "The Book of Cheese," agreed that parmesan is a hard cheese to replace.
"Parmesan is typically used for grating, and in order to get a hard texture for grating, a cheese has to be aged," Thorpe shared. "Comparable or alternative cheeses are going to face a similar problem. It becomes an issue of, 'If you want this, you're going to have to pay more for it.'"