Whole Foods Celebrates King of Cheeses

In its fourth year of celebrating Parmigiano Reggiano, Whole Foods Market has planned online and in-store events.

In its first-ever national live streaming event on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. CST, the Austin, Texas-based natual foods retailer will host an hour-long Parmigiano Reggiano celebration complete with recipes, pairing tips, storage and handling information and more with Cathy Strange, global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market, as host along with Derek Sarno, healthy eating specialist for Whole Foods Market. Recipes by bloggers will be demonstrated and discussed.

Those interested tasting along with Strange during the event will need balsamic vinegar, honey, walnuts and a pear or apple and a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano.

On March 10 at 2 p.m. CST, Whole Foods stores nationwide will be cracking of an entire wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano.

"There's a reason we host an annual event to celebrate Parmigiano Reggiano - it truly is the king of cheese," said Strange. "Its toasted, nutty and salty flavor is due in large part to the careful, hand-crafted work by small producers and two-year aging process. Our Parmigiano Reggiano offers a high-quality flavor our shoppers have come to know and expect. There is no substitution."

Only Parmesan made in one area of Northern Italy- Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and portions of Bologna and Mantua -  can bear the name Parmigiano Reggiano. There the cheese is made in small batches using artisanal methods in accordance with the stringent quality standards of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano. Whole Foods Market then takes it a step further by visiting these producers each year to hand-select wheels for its stores.

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