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.

First posted on the Whole Foods blog.

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