On Feb 27 at 12pm PST, Whole Foods Markets across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. will simultaneously break into hundreds of wheels of 24-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano, in an attempt to break its own Guinness World Record set in 2008. Using traditional tools from Italy’s Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano, cheese mongers will carve and portion each 85-pound wheel in approximately half an hour.
According to Whole Foods, the Kitsilano location will feature full demonstrations of other rustic Italian foods on February 27 and the Cambie location will welcome a local opera singer to perform. Search for other Whole Foods location here.
Did you know?
- A traditional product dating back almost 1,000 years, only Parmesan cheese made in one area of northern Italy can bear the name Parmigiano Reggiano.
- After one year of aging, each wheel that passes the test is branded with an oval certification mark and then left to continue aging. Whole Foods Market only carries 24-month aged Parmigiano – 12 months beyond the time required to prove authenticity.
- The unique crystals found in Parmigiano, called Tyrosine, are formed when the proteins in the milk break down during the aging process.
- “Parm cracking” is a centuries-old art of opening the cheese wheel so that the internal crystalline structure, with its characteristic crumbly texture, is left fully intact.
- Old Italian cheese mongers say that breaking into a 24-month aged Parmigiano is like “cracking open happiness.”
- Parmigiano is a practical decadence for those watching budgets and calories and the cheese can last for weeks in the fridge.
- In its first-ever attempt, Whole Foods Market set the Guinness World Record for “Most Parmigiano Reggiano Wheels Cracked Simultaneously”, with nearly 300 wheels opened at 176 stores. That was April 12, 2008.
For more information on this event and Parmigiano Reggiano, visit Whole Foods’ website.
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