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5 Things to Know About Parmigiano Reggiano

When you think of tradition, college sports, fraternities or annual family activities might come to mind. For me, the first thing that pops up is Parmigiano Reggiano. This cheese has been made the same way for 1,000 years.

What to Know About Parmigiano Reggiano

While some traditions live on merely for nostalgia’s sake, Parmigiano Reggiano continues its reign as the king of cheese for so many reasons (#1 — it’s delicious!). Here are five things you should know about Parmigiano Reggiano from Whole Foods Market.

  1. You know authentic Parmigiano Reggiano when you see it — every wheel has “Parmigiano Reggiano” imprinted on the rind in pin dots. Wheels destined for Whole Foods Markets are also hot-branded, telling you the cheese within is of the highest export-only quality.
  2. Our global cheese buyer Cathy Strange visits each producer and select wheels made only with evening and morning milk. Wheels are selected based on the best flavor profile from spring milk (herbal, floral) and fall milk (nutty, caramelized).
  3. “Two summers” is the traditional mantra of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheesemaker. The belief is that one summer’s heat energizes enzymes, kick-starting their flavor-enhancing work. The next summer takes those flavors to the intensely complex, nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy heights the cheese is known for. That’s why Whole Foods Market only carries Parmigiano Reggiano that has aged 24 months.
  4. Our cheesemongers crack each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano in house to ensure the freshest, most flavorful cheese is sold at Whole Foods Market stores.
  5. Parmigiano Reggiano is rich in protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. It is easily digested, does not contain lactose, and has a low fat content

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano Cracking Event

Want a piece of the action? Head to any Whole Foods Market store on Saturday, February 27 at 3 pm EST. To honor this tradition and celebration of this beloved cheese, wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano will be simultaneously cracked and sampled that day at our stores across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. 

Storing Parmigiano Reggiano

Once you snag a hunk (or a whole 85 pound wheel, I don’t judge), make sure you treat it right.

  • Let the cheese come to room temperature so those lovely aromas and flavors can unfurl.
  • Try to buy pieces that will last you just a week or two. Wrap wedges tightly in wax paper or stoe in air tight Tupperware containers and keep in your refrigerator at about 40° (the veggie drawer works well).
  • Reinvigorate dehydrated cheese by wrapping with damp cheesecloth, then plastic wrap, and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Store grated cheese in the refrigerator in a zip-close bag with all air squeezed out.

Serving Parmigiano Reggiano

While wonderful on its own, Parmigiano Reggiano brightens nearly any recipe. Try these ideas for dinner tonight:

  • On a cheese plate, pair with foods that complement the cheese’s subtle bite, creaminess and sweetness: pears, balsamic vinegar, honey, walnuts, figs or hazelnuts.
  • Grate into breadcrumbs before breading.
  • Melt onto the edges of your pizza crusts.
  • The rind adds a lovely richness and complexity to soups or stews.

Oven-Baked Chicken with Parmigiano Reggiano Crust

Oven-Baked Chicken with Parmigiano Reggiano Crust Recipe

Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto and Arugula Flatbread

Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto and Arugula Flatbread Recipe

Not Your Nonna’s Spaghetti Carbonara

Not Your Nonna’s Spaghetti Carbonara

Saffron Risotto with Parmigiano Reggiano

Kale Caesar Salad with Parmigiano Reggiano Recipe

What’s your favorite way to enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano?


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Sheila Batchelder says …

I loved the article on the Parmigiano Reggiano Thanks.

MAURO says …


Jim Wecht says …

Thanks for info, and education. Love yours stores. Please never waver with GMO's

Pat says …

Thank you. I think I found a new cheese for my family to try.

Charles says …

What do these cows eat? Are the allowed to graze in pastures or are they kept in pens as shown in the film?

ed tyuioppm says …

delicious -- issimo parm-reg event. crack open our worlds

Janice Paradine says …

My daughter has food allergies and I was wondering where do I find glutin and milk free pasta in local stores?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JANICE - Our products will vary between stores. Check with your local store directly, they will be happy to help.