If you love parmesan cheese, then you should head out to Costco as soon as possible!
The superstore recently made the headlines after people heard that they are selling 72-pound wheels of parmigiano reggiano cheese! It definitely is a ‘too good to be true’ kind of thing, but it actually the real deal.
Parmesan cheese is differs on the location. If you are in the United States, you can find this in grated, shredded, or shelf-stable cheese granules. But if you are in Italy or anywhere in the European Union, Parmesan cheese is different. The ‘real’ parmesan cheese is the Parmigiano-Reggiano. This has a sharp, umami-rich hard cheese flavor that has a granulated texture made from cow’s milk. This cannot be produced just anywhere in Italy. It has to be from a small region in Northern Italy.
According to Costco’s online listing, each block of cheese produced by the store’s Kirkland Signature brand is ‘aged 24months’ and are ‘imported from Italy.’ How can anyone pass on that? People are wondering if this is a good deal or not. According to Costco, each pound of the cheese wheel comes out to be $12.50.
Because of this, cheese lovers shared their comments and experience to Costco’s listing page. And they sure had a lot to share!
One of the commenter wrote:
“Bought this as a surprise for my son’s wedding reception (he is a fiend for the stuff). With the help of YouTube instructions and the proper tools and his good buddy, he and his brother cracked open the Parm in front of family and friends, to great applause and cheers… It was fun to watch and actually quite beautiful! The cheese is magnificent; fragrant and delicious.”
Even though many had the best experience and can attest to how genuine this Costco offer is, others are still skeptical. One critic said, “Not sure this is the real thing. That said, it’s not bad and I’ve used it in Alfredo sauce with great success.”
Another person who received this massive cheese wheel as a gift asked, “Got this as a gift, what the heck am I supposed to do with all this cheese!?”
Everyone knows that parm is expensive compared to other types of cheese. Generally, a wheel of parmesan cheese can cost over $1,000 with an average of 88 pounds. This means that it costs around $11 to over $24 per pound. You want to know why it is expensive?
Parmesan cheese production is a huge business for Italy. In fact there are over 3.6 million wheels produced each year! This means that the industry earns around 2.2€ billion ($2.5 billion) each year which makes this one of Italy’s biggest exports. Now that does not really explain why it is so pricey.
Now you have to remember that each wheel of parm will take at least one year to age. It would need 131 gallons of milk to produce it and can only be produced in a restricted area within Northern Italy, specifically in the region of Emilia Romagna. This is why its Italian name is ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’ which means ‘from the cities of Parma and Reggio Emilia.’
So if you are a parm cheese lover, head out to Costco soon before they run out of these massive cheese rolls! But before you buy one for your consumption, take heed of the product’s perishable nature as well as the delivery schedules. Costco only shops out the Parmigiano Reggiano wheel between Mondays and Wednesdays.