Your Guide to Parmigiano Reggiano, the King of Cheese

It’s the real deal — and we mean it. We hand-select our wheels from Italy each year and handcrack them in our stores.

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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 handcrack 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 28% off Parmigiano Reggiano (with Prime) from March 8 through March 10.*

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.

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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.

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. Handcracked in house for the freshest flavor.

When we handcrack 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.

More delicious ways to enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano:

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 airtight containers and keep in your refrigerator at about 40°F (the produce drawer works well). Store grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in the refrigerator in a zip-close bag with all air squeezed out.

*Valid 3/8–3/10/24. 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.