Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

7 Crazy Ways to Use Parmigiano Reggiano

By Alice K. Thompson, November 30, 2018  |  More Posts by Alice K. Thompson

Need some extra inspiration when it comes to using Parmigiano Reggiano? Getting creative with this versatile cheese really pays off, and we’ve got some daring, delicious combinations that show it at its best plus a sale. Save $5 per lb on Mitica Parmigiano Reggiano from 2/23 - 2/25/18*. 

The King of Cheese

Producers in traditional areas of Northern Italy use techniques dating back centuries, then age the wheels of cheese to achieve the intense, complex taste and wonderfully crumbly texture it’s celebrated for. Nutty, sweet, salty and fruity are all flavors found in Parmigiano Reggiano, but there’s one more that’s key: umami, the savory “fifth flavor” that stimulates the taste buds and heightens the taste of foods around it. It’s one reason that offbeat flavor pairings with this cheese are so often successful. 
You know authentic Parmigiano Reggiano when you see it — every wheel has “Parmigiano Reggiano” imprinted on the rind in pin dots. Find out more about this storied cheese.
You might wonder what makes the Parmigiano Reggiano that Whole Foods Market sells unique. We only sell wheels that are aged at least two years. Each year we hand select wheels based on the flavor profile we believe is best, buying from just a handful of producers that we know personally. Then we hand crack the wheels in our stores so the flavor is freshest. You can taste the difference.'


Easy Ways to Enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano Besides Pasta

1. Stuff a Date. Try one of the fastest flavor fixes we know: Cut slits in the top of pitted dates and slip wedges of cheese inside for outstanding two-bite treats, sophisticated enough for cocktails but easy enough for an anytime munch. You can add a walnut or pecan half to each if you like, or drizzle with honey: Infused honeys like chile honey, truffle honey or rosemary honey are excellent foils to Parmesan Reggiano. 
2. Make a Mix. You’ll find a near perfect blend of sweet-and-salty is this Parmigiano Reggiano Party Mix. Dried fruits, toasted nuts and cubes of crunchy, crumbly Parmigiano Reggiano are addictive as a cocktail partner or game-day snack. Lots of protein plus heart-healthy fatty acids (and no refined sugar!) makes it particularly satisfying as a trail mix.
3. Make a Crisp. Part chip, part cracker and fully delicious, baked Parmigiano Reggiano Crisps can do duty on dishes from salads to soups and vegetables, and you can even land them on a dessert plate — try standing one up in a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream drizzled with aged balsamic.
4. Snack on It. Forget granola bars! Sweet-and-Salty Parmigiano Reggiano Snack Bars just might be the ultimate way to satisfy your taste buds while getting a dose of whole grains and seeds. The savory flavor of the cheese elevates these beyond post-workout fodder.
5. Pair with Chocolate. Pair Parmigiano Reggiano with chocolate for a flavor explosion: It’s the ultimate combo for bringing out the cheese’s luxurious salty and tangy character while heightening chocolate’s deeper, darker, sweeter notes. Slather toast with chocolate-hazelnut spread and lay Parmigiano Reggiano shavings on top, add tiny cubes to chocolate chip cookie dough, or go all out with these Parmigiano Reggiano Crisps with Chocolate and Sea Salt.
6. Add to Popcorn. Toss freshly popped corn with a generous handful of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano and your choice of seasonings: cracked black pepper, chile powder, garlic powder, lemon zest, or just about any seasoning blend you have in your spice cabinet. An optional drizzle of butter or a coating of olive oil spray will help the cheese cling to the kernels.
7. Don’t Discard the Rind. Toss it into a simmering pot of soup, stock, or stew to enjoy the last bit of its ineffable flavor in one more meal. Or use it to infuse cream for Parmesan Crème Brûlée, an unforgettable dessert that takes full advantage of Parmigiano Reggiano’s nuanced flavors.

Join Us for a Parmigiano Reggiano Cracking Party 

Don’t miss our 10th annual Parmigiano Reggiano Wheel Crack on Saturday, February 24. At 3 pm EST in all of our stores, expert cheesemongers will crack open a wheel and hand out free samples. Just the celebration this cheese deserves. 
*Valid 2/23 - 2/25/18. While supplies last. Not valid at Whole Foods Market 365™ stores. U.S. only. No rain checks. 
Categories: Food & Recipes, Cheese

Join Vitamin Angels in the Fight Against Malnutrition

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, July 2, 2018  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

Many people in the world do not have a choice when it comes having nutritious foods or even basic health services, let alone access to either of the two. That’s why the nonprofit Vitamin Angels helps at-risk populations gain access to life-changing vitamins and minerals. And this month, Vitamin Angels is partnering with Whole Foods Market, so that you can help people get access to what they need.

Vitamin Angels helps pregnant women, new mothers and children under five (a critical window in childhood development) get vital nutrition. Vitamin Angels leverages the knowledge and existing infrastructure of its nonprofit partners and adds prenatal multivitamins, vitamin A and deworming tablets, as well as nutritional counseling and the promotion of breastfeeding practices to its partners’ existing health and nutrition services. These vitamins can help to reduce preventable illness, blindness and even death associated with micronutrient deficiencies. Through their work, Vitamin Angels has been able to reach 61 million children and mothers in 74 countries.

While these underserved populations are primarily in areas classified by the World Health Organization as experiencing moderate to severe vitamin A deficiency or worm infections, the organization also reaches mothers and children in the U.S. and Canada. Whole Foods Market shoppers have generously supported Vitamin Angels through fundraising efforts for years. This July, we’re aiming to raise $100,000 for the nonprofit with the help of our supplier partners.

So, How Can You Help?

It’s simple: All you have to do is shop. During the month of July when you purchase select supplements products from brands like Nature's Way, Garden of Life and Amazing Grass, 25¢ from each purchase will be donated to Vitamin Angels. There’s a strong chance one of your favorite supplement brands supports Vitamin Angels; about one-third of our supplement brands participates in this program. How do you know your purchase is supporting Vitamin Angels? All you have to do is look for the following label*, and you’ll know that part of your purchase is going to a good cause.

Or, see below for a full list brands that are supporting Vitamin Angels:

  • Irwin Naturals
  • Nutrition Now
  • Ancient Nutrition
  • Boiron
  • Earthrise
  • Garden of Life
  • Good Day Chocolate
  • Natrol
  • Nature’s Way
  • Ollois
  • Plant Fusion
  • Thayers
  • New Chapter

Both 365 Everyday Value® and Whole Foods Market™ brands plan on donating an additional $5,000 together to Vitamin Angels.

Learn more about how your contribution can provide nutritional support to malnourished children in the U.S. and around the world – and be sure to stop by your local Whole Foods Market to stock up on supplements. Not just for your health, but for the health and wellbeing of children across the globe.

Editor's Note: Vitamin Angels is a separate organization from Whole Foods Market.

*Most, but not all, brands supporting Vitamin Angels feature this logo.


Categories: Vitamin Angels, Donations, Whole Body

What’s New: Matcha Energy Drinks, Gochujang Condiments and More

By Whole Story Editors, May 28, 2018  |  More Posts by Whole Story Editors

We’re welcoming summer by rolling out must-try newcomers like condiments that pack a punch, green tea caffeine and go-tos for easy entertaining such as turmeric-spiced hearts of palm bites, cheese crisps and a French Rosé.

Like all the food we sell, these new food and beverage additions meet our quality standards, which include no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners, and no hydrogenated fats or high fructose corn syrup either. For personal care products, we evaluate quality in terms of ingredients and experience. In fact, there are more than 100 ingredients that are not allowed in any body care products we sell.

Stop in to check out these new additions:

MatchaBar Hustle Matcha Energy Drink

Original and 0g sugar

Brooklyn-based MatchaBar is loved by many, and now you’ve got two new ways to drink it. These sparkling green tea drinks offer a kick of caffeine, along with antioxidants and l-theanine, all in a convenient can. MatchaBar’s ceremonial-grade matcha comes from shade-grown tea leaves sourced from a fifth-generation family farm in Nishio, Japan.

365 Everyday Value® Limited Edition Gochujang Condiments and Chips

Sauce & Marinade, Ketchup, Hot Sauce, Barbecue sauce, Potato Chips, Organic Mustard

Meet gochujang: a sweet, spicy, Korean-style pepper paste made with fermented soybeans. If you love sriracha’s heat, definitely try gochujang. We’ve captured its addictive, savory goodness to these summertime essentials. Try ’em now because when they’re gone, they’re gone.

GoGo Squeez Organic Apple Sauce

When it comes to convenience, ease and snackability, these fun-to-squeeze pouches get a big gold star from kids and parents alike. Made with real fruit, so you can feel good about packing them for road trips, picnics and camp snacks.

Trilogy Very Gentle Restoring Oil

Who couldn’t use a little extra pampering? This fragrance-free blend combines pure oils of maqui berry seed, sea buckthorn and apricot kernel oil. The result is nourishing, protective oil for sensitive skin.

New Chapter Organic Fermented Black Seed Booster Powder

Amp up the power of your daily shake or smoothie. This product comes from nourishing ingredients and soothing botanicals like aloe to support healthy digestion. Toss it in your blender with fruit, yogurt and warm spices.


Pool Boy French Rosé Wine

#Yeswayrosé. Craving a light and refreshing wine to go with your backyard barbecues? Reach for this pink stunner in a patio-friendly, shatter-proof bottle. With notes of citrus and pink fruits like strawberry and watermelon, it’s a win chilled or over ice.

Corona Premiere

We know, we know. Why mess with a classic? But Corona Premiere is a fresh take with fewer carbs and calories than their original Extra or Light beers. Its clean, balanced flavor is a match for summer’s chill twilight get-togethers, spicy salsas and lime wedges, of course.

Divina Turmeric-Spiced Hearts of Palm Bites

With a tangy-sweet flavor and sunny hue, these crunchy bites are an unexpected and lively addition to salads, wraps, tasting plates and happy hours. They just might become your go-to garnish. Find them on the olive bar.

Lesley Stowe Raincoast Cheese Crisps

Aged Cheddar & Harissa, Parmesan & Chive

Here’s another hit from the maker of every cheese board’s must-have fruit and nut crisps (if you don’t know, now you know). These new crisps have cheese baked right into bold flavors and are a welcome partner for your favorite dips, charcuterie and spreads.

Probar LIVE Organic Probiotic Nutrition Bars

Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Almond Butter, Coconut Cashew

Probiotics and plant-based protein? It’s time to fuel up. Each gluten-free bar contains one billion CFU probiotics for gut health. Keep in the fridge for an easy snack before afternoon meetings, bicep curls or yoga classes. Available in four nutty, addictive flavors.

Visit our stores to find new favorites, and check out more recently added products.  


Categories: What's New, New Products

Meet Summer’s Hottest Cool Dessert: Cheesecake Bites

By Whole Story Editors, May 21, 2018  |  More Posts by Whole Story Editors


You’re already a big mochi fan, you’ve tried almost every cake pop recipe in the books, and you’re obsessed with cheesecake. So, heads up for a seriously cool dessert coming your way soon: Cheesecake Bites. Consider them the lovechild of mochi, cake pops (minus the stick) and cheesecake, all rolled into one. They’re literally cool (they’re frozen), and they’re a micro-sized dessert, perfect for popping right into your mouth.

These bite-sized desserts are squares of cheesecake that are covered in dark or milk chocolate – whichever you’re into. They come in a variety of flavors (none artificial, of course), including traditional New York style, lemon, chocolate, strawberry, espresso, coconut and key lime. No one will judge you for wanting to try all – we promise! The squares are finished with tiny toppings that include a white chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, espresso beans and toasted coconut. Plus, they’re frozen, which means they’re not just sweet, they’re a refreshing, cool treat during the hot summer weather. They will launch in our new Kansas City store just south of the historic Country Club Plaza, and will be available in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas and in El Paso, Texas by the fall.

Sounds delicious. But how should I serve them? Serve them on a platter with a berry garnish (and a glass of wine, if you’re so inclined). We also recommend creating a dessert buffet with these bites, mochi and other bite-size treats. Of course, you can serve them – and eat them – any way you want. Like, in the parking lot on your way to the car …

Any other cool ways to eat them? We’re all about mixing, matching and trying all of the flavors. In our Kansas City store, we have our own version of a “Cheesecake Bite flight” on the dessert menu in our new full-service bar and taproom, The Fountain Room.

How much do they cost? They are 2 for $4, 6 for $10, or 12 for $18. (Yes, it’s one of those “the more you buy, the more you save” kind of things.)

My mouth is watering. Where can I find them at Whole Foods Market?  Look for them in the kind of cooler that holds ice cream sandwiches and novelties in the bakery department and pick them up on your next trip to Whole Foods Market. After all, you can never have too many desserts in your freezer.

Categories: Food

Break the Fast With Tons of Flavor and Zero Stress This Ramadan

By Nadia Hubbi, May 14, 2018  |  More Posts by Nadia Hubbi

Nadia Hubbi is a food photographer, food entrepreneur and food blogger who was raised in New Jersey. She partnered with her childhood friend, Deana Kakabkibi, and together, they run the blog Sweet Pillar Food, where they maintain the traditions and memories of their upbringings through cooking. Hubbi now lives in Los Angeles with her two children (with a third on the way!).

Ramadan is one of my favorite holidays. It’s filled with quality time with family and friends, and elaborate dinners with tons of food (which is basically a must after fasting during the day and not having anything to eat or drink…not even water!). 

Deana and I use shortcuts when we can, and thanks to Saffron Road’s products, ‘shortcut’ doesn’t mean compromising taste or quality. Just because your guests have been fasting all day doesn’t mean they won’t know the difference between good and bad food! Plus, all of Saffron Road’s food is halal-certified and have no hydrogenated fats or artificial colors. Here are some of my favorite tips for preparing your iftar table.

Have Some Snacks Ready to Go

We always have an assortment of various snacks ready on our iftar table: Dried fruit, dates and Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas, Sea Salt. That way, our hungry guests can nibble on something immediately.

Make an Easy Dip

Dips and chips are also an important part of a Ramadan iftar table – and they’re also super easy to prepare. We like to make hummus (or you can just grab some Whole Foods Market™ hummus) and serve it with Saffron Road Baked Lentil Chips

Start with an Easy, Small Soup

Every family’s traditions vary, but many start their meals with a bowl of soup. Some people think soup will fill people up before the main course, so I like to meet somewhere in the middle by putting soup in little shooters. Combine Saffron Road Coconut Curry Korma Sauce with Saffron Road Traditional Chicken Broth. Let it simmer, and you’ll have a quick and easy soup! For something a little extra, top the soup with Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas or Baked Lentil Chips.

Make an Easy Entrée

For my family, dinner is incomplete without rice. We’ve used Saffron Road Chicken Biryani for one of our two main dishes. We like to add our own touches to it by caramelizing an extra onion and adding some golden raisins to top it off. You can sear chicken, top it off with Saffron Road Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce and bake it all together. Add some fresh cilantro, and you’re good to go. If you’re really in a pinch, just pop one of Saffron Road’s frozen entrees in the microwave and put it on a nice serving platter. There are many to choose from with so many different flavors from across the globe. One of my personal favorites is Saffron Road frozen Enchiladas al Chipotle.

Don’t Stress Over Drinks and Desserts

Water is obviously a must after not consuming any beverages all day. Lots of Middle Eastern families like to drink apricot juice, but we tend to opt for a lemonade and mint drink. You can squeeze your own lemons or you can make the whole thing a lot easier picking up 365 Everyday Value® lemonade at Whole Foods Market and adding fresh mint and honey or sugar on your own. Also, make sure to have enough tea and coffee on hand to serve with pastries, cookies, and dessert!  

The most important thing – aside from eating – is that you get to celebrate an important time with your family and friends. That’s why I like to stop by Whole Foods Market to quickly grab all of these things I need, so I can focus on what really matters (and, you know, beat the hanger).

Happy Iftar!

Categories: ramadan, Holidays