Parmigiano Reggiano (aka the King of Cheese) is our #1 selling cheese at Whole Foods Market. Each year, we hand-select the wheels from Italy and hand-crack them in our stores. Why? So that you can bring home a delicious wedge. Learn all about Parmigiano Reggiano below, including what makes ours so special.
P.S. All hail the King of Cheese with 20% off Parmigiano Reggiano (and an extra 10% off for Prime members) from March 10 through March 12.*
Exclusively for Prime members in select ZIP codes.
What is Parmigiano Reggiano?
The salty-sweet, nutty and crumbly cheese — which is traditionally made with raw cow's milk — is an amazing flavor-booster for everything from salads to roasted vegetables. That’s because Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a great source of umami, that “fifth” taste of yummy-deliciousness that’s savory, satisfying and complex. And because of that concentrated source of flavor, a small amount goes a long way to bump up the flavor of almost any food.
Parmigiano Reggiano is also one of Italy’s most respected cheeses. The name is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) opens in a new tab, and it can only be made in the Emilia-Romagna region, composed of Reggio-Emilia, Parma, Modena, and portions of Bologna and Mantua.
What makes our Parmigiano Reggiano special?
Each year, we visit northern Italy and select wheels based on the flavor profile we believe is best — intense and complex, with nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy and fruity flavors. We buy from just a handful of producers that we know personally.
What makes Parmigiano Reggiano “the real deal?”
Wheels are not allowed to be sold as Parmigiano Reggiano without specific rind markings and pindots that signify approval from the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano (the ruling body that governs all things Parmigiano Reggiano).
Here are three facts about the Parmigiano Reggiano at Whole Foods Market:
1. Incomparable taste from aging 24 months.
That “crystal crunch” is tyrosine crystals, which only appear after at least 15 months of aging. Sweet, salty, nutty, grassy, creamy and fruity flavors are perfectly balanced at 24 months.
2. Hand-selected to be in the top 1%.
We’ve teamed up with small producers for more than 20 years to get the best-tasting wheels made from flavorful milk. The wheels we choose are in the top 1% of all Parmigiano Reggiano graded for quality.
3. Hand-cracked in-house for freshest flavor.
When we hand-crack the wheels in our stores, it’s proof that every piece of cheese is the original. Our team members are trained to use tools that have been used for hundreds of years to crack along curd lines to get the best aromatics and flavors.
How to enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano.
Once you’ve secured your wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano, how are you going to enjoy it? Give these easy ideas and palate-pleasing recipes a try. Need pairing advice? Look for a Certified Cheese Professional or expert cheesemonger. Their expertise can guide you to perfect accoutrements to serve with your cheese.
Serve on a cheese plate.
Try cutting a wedge into smaller pieces and serve on a cheese plate with prosciutto, olives, dried fruit or fig jam. Be sure to let the cheese come to room temperature to appreciate its aromas and flavors.
Grate and bake until crisp.
Add crunch to a Caesar salad or creamy tomato soup by baking grated Parmigiano Reggiano until golden-brown and crispy.
Stir into risotto.
Elevate the classic Italian dish by stirring in grated Parmigiano Reggiano instead of parmesan cheese. Just before serving, garnish with extra cheese shavings.
Sprinkle over pizza.
Take your pizza to the next level with a generous sprinkle of grated Parmigiano Reggiano just before serving. Bonus: Melt onto the edges of your pizza crusts for crispy, cheesy goodness.
More delicious ways to enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano:
Add shaved Parmigiano Reggiano to take Kale Caesar Salad opens in a new tab to the next level.
Grate into breadcrumbs before breading for a wonderfully cheesy, crisp crust. Try them in Oven-Baked Chicken with Parmigiano Reggiano Crust opens in a new tab.
Make Parmigiano Reggiano Baked Eggs with Swiss Chard opens in a new tab: Enjoy this cozy breakfast straight from the ramekin, and don't forget a vehicle — we love thick-sliced, crusty bread.
Simmer rinds in soups to add cheesy flavor and aroma. (Don't forget to remove it before serving!) Try comforting Chicken Noodle Soup with Parmigiano Reggiano Broth opens in a new tab or Hearty Greens Soup with Bowtie Pasta and Tomatoes opens in a new tab.
Make Warm Parmigiano Reggiano Dressing opens in a new tab by whisking together grated cheese, olive oil, garlic, anchovies and red wine vinegar.
Make an epic topper for roasted broccoli florets, broccoli rabe or asparagus. Try Broccoli with Parmigiano Reggiano and Pine Nuts opens in a new tab.
Whip together easy yet festive Parmigiano Reggiano Party Mix opens in a new tab with cubed cheese, nuts and dried fruit.
How to store Parmigiano Reggiano.
Get the most from Parmigiano Reggiano by treating it with care. Try to buy pieces that will last you just a week or two. To store, wrap wedges tightly in wax paper or store in air tight containers and keep in your refrigerator at about 40° (the produce drawer works well). Store grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in the refrigerator in a zip-close bag with all air squeezed out.
*Valid 3/10 – 3/12/23. Discount applied at register. Excludes grated, shredded, shaved and rinds. Quantity limits apply. While supplies last. Quantities limited. No rain checks except where required by law.