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The Great Parmigiano Reggiano Wheel Cracking Extravaganza
Our month-long celebration of all things Parmigiano Reggiano ends in a very big way and you’re invited! This Saturday, February 27th, at exactly 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) cheesemongers in our stores across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. will simultaneously crack into wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano.
You could say we’re trying to outdo ourselves. In 2008, with nearly 300 wheels opened at 176 Whole Foods Market stores, we set a Guinness World Record for "Most Parmigiano Reggiano Wheels Cracked Simultaneously." Stop by your local Whole Foods Market on Saturday to witness our attempt to break that record.
There is a real art to cracking into an 85-pound wheel of the “king of cheese.” It requires an expert hand and usually takes about half an hour using the official 5-piece knife set from Italy's Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano. This traditional cracking method perfectly reveals Parmigiano Reggiano’s delectably crunchy crystalline internal structure.In this video, Cathy Strange, our Global Cheese Buyer explains the process as Team Member Forrest Allen demonstrates.
Our stores are buzzing with anticipation for the big event. There will be Parmigiano Reggiano samples, recipe demonstrations, food pairings and wine and beer tastings (where allowed). Many of our stores will feature in-store “crack offs” with their cheesemongers competing against each other on cracking time and ability. Be sure to check your local store calendar to find out what time the celebration begins.
As a special salute to this amazing cheese, the Specialty Team in our West Vancouver, British Columbia store carved an amazing replica of the Roman Coliseum out of a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. If you’re in the area, check it out.
We also have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot of Team Members in our Specialty Departments sporting mustaches à la Paolo Borghi, one of our Italian Parmigiano Reggiano producers.
Whether you make the cracking event or not, visit our Behind the Rind page for more information about this wonderful cheese, along with recipes, pairing suggestions and much more. Let’s get cracking!