Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Parmigiano Reggiano: The Center of the Cheese Universe

Parm crackingIf you’re not acquainted with the center of the cheese universe, Parmigiano Reggiano, let's give you a taste of this astronomical fromage!

Where in the world does it come from?

With production traceable to as early as the 13th century, authentic Parmigiano Reggiano comes from a single region in Northern Italy, the Po River Valley, composed of Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and portions of Bologna and Mantua. The rolling hills and green pastures create the perfect environment for the cows milked for this cheese, which is still made in small batches using artisanal methods. Each wheel is aged for 24 months to bring out the full taste and texture of this exceptional cheese.

Each year, our cheese buyers visit the region to select wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano based on the taste profile we believe is best — intense and complex, with nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy and fruity flavors. We buy from just a handful of producers whom we know personally.

The center of the cheese universe, the star of your plate

Experience this otherworldly cheese in some of our favorite recipes. Remember, with bold flavors like Parmigiano Reggiano, a little goes a long way!

Countdown to PARMAGEDDON

To celebrate the landing of this cheese in our stores, we’ll attempt to take back our Guinness World Record for the Most Parmesan Cheese Wheels Cracked Simultaneously. We’ll be cracking more than 400 wheels to earn the title. This stellar event happens at all our stores on Saturday, March 9 at exactly 3pm EST. Join us and watch your local cheese monger crack open a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, and enjoy samples, recipe demonstrations and more. Check with your local store for details.

There’s more at wholefoodsmarket.com/parmageddon.

How do you have a blast with Parmigiano Reggiano?


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cubanese says …


Jay Brady says …

Absolutely number 1 cheese in the world !

Judy says …

Imagine so much going into making of a cheese! No wonder it's so good. I love Whole Foods and travel 50 miles to go there about once a month. I love the 365 products for taste, consistent quality and price. Can't wait for the new store in downtown Detroit to open. Keep up the great work!!!

Susan Reinwald says …

What the hell is vegetarian-fed beef? Is this a scare tactic? When I asked the staff at the store I was told it doesn't have chopped up cow brains in it. I'm totoally not shopping in your stroes again, it's ridiculous. Also, there is vegetarian cheese?

Rosie says …

I love this cheese and it is so fun when Whole Foods has some fun with breaking out a new wheel. I just wanted to say the artwork and clever wording, etc., for this is so cute and fun, it makes you want to hurry to the store and get some!!! Truly excellent in a way that doesn't come across as trying too hard. Grate stuff!!! (admit i'm stealing your phrase!!!). Should win an award!!!

Will Desjean says …

Very familiar with PR and will be getting more, soon. Great recipes!!!

Jeff says …

@Susan Reinwald... Many companies feed cattle feed supplemented with beef byproducts like ground entrails and brains. This is a good source of protein and builds muscle mass quickly; it's fairly common practice across the USA. p.s. I have nothing to do with Whole Foods, I'm just a cheese fan who found my way to this page!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SUSAN - While FDA regulations have tightened regarding the prohibition of feeding mammalian tissues to ruminants since 2003, there are still some animal materials that are not prohibited. We prohibit all mammalian and avian by-products from the feed for any animals raised for our meat program. The beef you buy in our stores have received no animal byproducts in their feed. You can read more about the FDA regulations at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=589.2000.

PatriciaG says …

This is my absolute favorite cheese. I will be getting some at your store soon. Hopefully at your event.

Michael says …

Parmigiano Reggiano is the tastiest treat. Lightly toast chibatta bread add a piece of roasted garlic and then the icing of this masterpiece, room temperature Parmagiano Reggiano on top. Enjoy.

gardengal says …

I am looking forward to the 'wheel cracking' this Saturday (March 9th). Looking forward to trying some samples as well as watching some recipe demonstrations.

janice hood says …

I'd like to know how old your reggiano is, and who the supplier in Italy is. Thank you, Janice Hood

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JANICE - Each wheel is aged for 24 months. Our vendors can vary between store locations so I would suggest that you reach out to your local store to see who they receive their Parmigiano Reggiano from.