How much does a cup of cheese really weigh?

From   |  October 05, 2011
In Kitchen Basics

One of the biggest places of confusion in recipes is volume versus weight measurement. And cheese seems to be the most confusing. So I scanned the Internet for an easy to understand explanation of why 1 cup of cheese equals only 4 ounces in weight, not 8 ounces like we assume it would. 1 cup equals 8 ounces, right? Well not always....
The good folks at Sargento have this very question on their FAQ’s page and I have copied their answer here:

Q. Your package is labeled as containing 8 ounces of cheese and says that's 2 cups. I thought 8 ounces equals 1 cup.
Sargento packages our products by weight, not by volume. A package labeled as 8 ounces weighs 8 ounces. We also give the corresponding cup (volumetric) measurement for ease in recipe use. A package of shredded cheese that weighs 8 ounces fills a 2 cup measuring cup. Although there are 8 ounces in a liquid cup measure, 8 ounces in weight won’t always yield the same cup measure. Eight ounces of shredded cheese equals 2 cups; four ounces of shredded cheese equals 1 cup.
Some other food examples might be even easier to visualize. Eight ounces of corn flakes equals 8 cups. Eight ounces of popped popcorn equals 16 cups. Cup measure will vary based on the density of the food product.

When ever confusion slips in when I am tried or have tested way too many recipes, I remember a riddle my fourth grade teacher asked us one day: Which weighs more a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers? The answer is of course they weigh the same – one pound. But obviously the volume of feathers it would take to weigh a pound is wayyyy more than bricks because of each one’s density.
 

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