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Savor the Flavor and Pair Perfectly: Parmigiano Reggiano

By Elizabeth Smith, March 2, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Smith

As the king of cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano is an incomparable, time-tested, complex cheese. It’s magnificent served on its own or paired with flavor complements. Go beyond grating and get to know why Parmigiano Reggiano reigns supreme!

Creating a Cheese Plate

Here are five essential steps for entertaining with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Prepare

Allow the Parmigiano Reggiano to come to room temperature. Cut it into small irregular chunks for nibbling, paper-thin slivers or tiny bite-size cubes.

Serve

Place portions of Parmigiano Reggiano on individual plates with a selection of the suggested pairings below. Add warm, crusty bread for a more substantial course. Taste

Let the cheese melt on your tongue and savor the nuances. Enjoy its delightful range of tastes: nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy and fruity. The lovely, subtle crunch is from the protein crystals that form during the aging process.

Pair

Highlight Parmigiano Reggiano’s subtle bite, creaminess and sweetness with some of our favorite pairings: pears, balsamic vinegar, honey, walnuts, Dolcetto (a light and fruity wine with black cherry and jammy flavors), figs, mostarda (an Italian candied-fruit and sweet mustard condiment) or hazelnuts.

Store

Buy pieces that will last you no more than two weeks. Keep wedges tightly wrapped in parchment paper or aluminum foil. Store it in the cheese or veggie drawer of your refrigerator (40˚F); freezing compromises its subtle nuances.

What to Sip Now that you’ve created the perfect cheese plate, try serving it with a light- to medium-bodied Red such as Chianti, Valpolicella or Lambrusco, a light fruity wine like Dolcetto or a sparkling White such as Prosecco. If you prefer beer, try a crisp Italian lager. Cooking with the King Parmigiano Reggiano possesses a palette-pleasing range of flavors and textures. Here are four of our favorite recipes that pay appropriate homage to this royal cheese.

Crackin’ It Open Ever wondered how we cut those huge wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano? Come see for yourself on Saturday, March 10, at 3 p.m. EST, when cheesemongers in our stores across the US, Canada and the UK will simultaneously crack into more than 300 85-pound wheels of authentic Parmigiano Reggiano.

Join in this tribute to the king of cheese at your local store and enjoy samples, pairings and recipe demonstrations.

Check your local store calendar for details.

After you mark your calendar for our “Crack Heard Around the World!” event, get to know more about this beloved cheese by visiting our Parmigiano Reggiano page.

While we count down the days until our royal cheese event, we can’t stop talking about (and cooking with) Parmigiano Reggiano and guess that some of you can’t either.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy the flavor of perfectly aged Parmigiano Reggiano?

Category: Cheese, Food & Recipes

 

3 Comments

Comments

trish says ...
i love grana padano
03/05/2012 10:16:56 PM CST
Brandy says ...
In Chicken Saltimbocca! DC Chef taught it at a recent Parma cooking class
03/07/2012 9:51:31 AM CST
danielb@fussylittleblog.com says ...
The important thing to remember is that all Parm-Reg is not created equal. http://fussylittleblog.com/2011/09/13/good-things-gone-bad/ And even good pieces of the cheese can pick up nasty flavors if stored in plastic wrap too long. http://fussylittleblog.com/2011/04/25/good-cheese-gets-a-bad-wrap/
09/15/2012 9:59:59 PM CDT