Have you ever seen a Guinness Record set or broken? Last weekend we randomly wandered into our local Whole Foods for some cheese and groceries to only find out that in 20 minutes our store, among 400 others nation wide were preparing to break the Guinness Record for having most Parmesan cheese wheels cracked open at the same time. Apparently, the story behind it was that Whole Foods held the record to the past several years, until Canada beat them by just a couple of wheels. Naturally, we made ourselves ( and luckily a camera) comfortable. It's not like you stumble on a new Guinness Record every day, you know.
And here is the photo-story of the Parmagedon ( as WF called it) :
^^ last few seconds and the cutting begins. cheese had to be cracked open in 15 minutes to go on a record. apparently, it was not as easy as one may think ^^
^^ and it's done! our store did it in 5 minutes! that's what team work can do for you. and some serious skill ^^
^^ delicious fresh Parmesan. it is absolutely true that once you taste fresh parm, there is no going back ^^
^^ making new friends with the team. although, they are like a family to us already. can you guess , we love cheese just a little? ^^
* Under Italian law, only cheese produced in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and Mantova may be labelled “Parmigiano-Reggiano”.
* The only additive allowed in real parmesan is salt which is absorbed by the cheese in the first 20 days of curing.
* Parmigiano-Reggiano is considered at its best when it is aged 24-30 months. It is still soft and crumbly, yet there are tiny crunchy spots from the crystallized salt.
* The milk used to make real parmigiano-reggiano is whole milk from a morning milking that is mixed with the naturally skimmed milk from the previous evening’s milking (the sitting milk separates itself, resulting in a part-skim mix).
* True parma is first tested at 12 months of age by a certified inspector. Cheese wheels are inspected with only a hammer and the inspector’s ear. They can ‘hear’ whether the cheese has undesirable cracks within its wheel.
* The average parma wheel weighs 84 lbs.
* Parmigiano-Reggiano is one of the greatest sources of pride for Italians, going back 800 years! Each wheel is considered an expression of the cheese maker’s dedication to not only his history as a cheese conneisseur but the history of the region in which the cheese comes from.
* Parmigiano-Reggiano is wonderful eaten in small chunks, as thin slivers, and of course, grated.
* You don’t ever want to freeze your parmigiano-reggiano. Freezing it can destroy the subtle nuances in its flavor.
* Because of the long, careful aging process, the milk proteins in parmigiano-reggiano are broken down making it one of the easiest milk products for humans to digest.
* In Italy, it is common for the head of a wheel of Parmesan cheese to be used as a “serving pot.” The head is hollowed out and then filled with steaming pasta.
* At the Parmigiano-Reggiano festival in Modena, Italy, a wheel of Parmesan cheese often sells for around 490 euros.