Hail to the Cheese: Live Parmigiano Reggiano Events Fit for a King

Whole Foods Market® hosts world's largest celebration of Parmigiano Reggiano with 'Crack Heard Around the World' and live streaming event

Feb 21, 2012, 06:00 ET from Whole Foods Market

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In its fourth year of celebrating Parmigiano Reggiano, the "King of Cheese," Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) pays homage to fromage with two larger-than-life live events.

"Whether culinarily curious or a cheese aficionado, our customers can partake in cracking open the secret to enjoying Parmigiano Reggiano in a live streaming event starring fresh recipes, pairing tips and more," said Cathy Strange, global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market.

In its first-ever national live streaming event on Monday, February 27 at 6 p.m. CST, Whole Foods Market will host an hour-long Parmigiano Reggiano celebration complete with recipes, pairing tips, storage and handling information and more with Strange as host along with the presence of Chef Derek Sarno, healthy eating specialist for Whole Foods Market. Innovative recipes by top bloggers Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy, Sara Wells of Our Best Bites, Tina Haupert of Carrots n Cake and Meghann Anderson of Meals and Miles will be demonstrated and discussed. For those interested in a virtual tasting along with Strange during the event, simply grab balsamic vinegar, honey, walnuts and a pear or apple and a hunk of Whole Foods Market's Parmigiano Reggiano, and follow along here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/whole-foods-market.

For those looking to experience the ancient art of cracking of an entire wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in person, head to any Whole Foods Market store on Saturday, March 10 at 2 p.m. CST.

"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."

While some scratch their heads at the difference between Parmigiano Reggiano and Parmesan, the difference is more than just taste. Only Parmesan made in one area of Northern Italy, the rolling hills and green pastures comprising 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 the very best wheels for our shoppers to taste and enjoy.

Click here to watch cheesemongers in action during last year's crack off. For recipes and more information, please visit wholefoodsmarket.com/parmigiano-reggiano. High resolution photos can be found here: wholefoodsmarket.com/pressroom/photo-gallery/.

Contact: Lindsay.Robison@wholefoods.com 512.542.3483

SOURCE Whole Foods Market