“Parmigiano Reggiano is best eaten daily.” (A. Odenwalder)
I’ve had a lot on my plate this week and I wish it was just this pasta. Spring cleaning is in full force since I found out that I am going to have a full house for Passover this year! It is hard to believe that Alex came home last Thursday night from China; I know; and he already left! He is though, due back today. I am choosing to believe that he came home to see us, though he left less than 12 hours later to join his Bucknell Ski team buddies in Utah for a ski team reunion. Well, he is staying for Passover and I should count my blessings!
It was less than two weeks ago that he decided to return and in that time Zoe decided she must come from Philly to see her bro, and my parents decided to come up from Phoenix, because God knows when they might see him again! He is so popular, isn’t he? And Zoe is bringing THE boyfriend, and her friends and the rest of the famille can’t wait to check him out. (OK. He is very nice and I know him, but we will see how well he holds up under pressure, though I’m not too worried because he has held up under Zoe!) Wow. That was a long sentence.
The family will be together again this Passover which leaves me frantic and happy and may miracles never cease. And speaking of miracles…I was in shock the other day when I knocked THIS glass off the counter and it landed just as you see it.
That’s a miracle, isn’t it? I was ready for the shatter and looking to make sure the dog was out of the way, and then I peeked and this is what I saw. I have never, EVER had this happen!
Well, Whole Foods has a lot on their plate this month too, and one of them is this incredible Parmigiano Reggiano. I’ve been eating this stuff ever since I realized that parmesan cheese doesn’t taste like what comes out of a can. Sold in giant 85 lb wheels, Whole Foods broke new wheels open on March 7th. Each wheel carries a number, and a production date done in pin dots. A few more notes from Whole Foods:
- First we choose cheese made with the season’s best milk—fall and spring when grass is most flavorful. Then our chosen wheels are carefully aged and hand tended for a full two years to bring out the desirable “pleasant fireworks” on the tongue. In a world of mass-produced food products, we are proud to offer a true hand-crafted work of art.
- Take a closer look at a whole wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano in our stores. Each wheel carries proof of its authenticity. During production, the future rind is impressed with the number of the “caseificio” or cheese house, production date and pin dots forming the words “Parmigiano Reggiano.” The pin dots guarantee that the cheese was made under regulation of the Consorzio del FormaggioParmigiano Reggiano, conforming to its stringent standards of quality. After one year of aging, each wheel that passes the test is branded with an oval certification mark and left to finish aging. Almost every piece we cut includes part of the marked rind, so you can verify it is the wheel thing, Parmigiano Reggiano!
- There are only 11 farms with an average of 35 cows per farm who produce the Parmigiano Reggiano sold at WFM; it’s made in copper vats by a man named Massimo Buttura who makes only 4 wheels a day; it hails from the Reggio Emelia county (one of 5 in Parma that can own the distinction of calling their cheese this); it’s aged 24 months! Check out Massimo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW3WeVrTcD8
- Each wheel is hand stamped with a number—anything under 1000 means it hails from one of the original producers of these cheese, dating back hundreds of years; those found in the Rocky Mountain region are stamped 597! Learn more about the history of the stamp and the process parmigiano reggiano has to go through to get its name here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/