The Real Wheel: Parmigiano Reggiano

parmesan

I want to tell you about a night I had recently, involving everyone’s favorite dairy product. Just imagine a room filled with sommeliers, chefs, and a sickening amount of Italian cheese. Can’t get any better right?

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Photo by Jessica Attie: http://www.jessicaattie.com

Now, imagine that room is housed in Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, one of those sommeliers is Mark Sayre, the chefs are from Italic, and that cheese is Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s as good as it can get, and that’s exactly what I got!

parm-cheese

After exiting the #7 bus just outside of the location, I entered the event space to find a sizable array of aged cheeses in various forms, and dishes. Purely Parmigiano Reggiano all around. There were mature pieces with crystalized crunchy bits inside to be tried on their own, perfectly stuffed peppers, parmesan filled dumplings, and there was even a creamy risotto made with a particularly delicious 24 month old specimen.

parm-stuffed-pepper

We paired these delights with one of my favorite Italian whites, Soave, and even a slightly effervescent red wine. There were sturdier reds as well, but in the Texas heat, I often linger on the lighter stuff.

parmigiano-reggiano

After gluttonously trying everything no less than 5 times, we retired a small room for a private class with a cheese expert. It was here that, if I’d had less wine, I would have gained an incredible knowledge on telling the different cheeses apart. I didn’t have that much, so I still had a pretty good lesson. I came away with cheese to take home, a full belly, and an absolutel obsession with this special type of cheese. I’ve been furiously grating wedges over sautéed greens, and even chicken, ever since.  (I’d highly recommend it over lightly fried kale with olive oil.) All in all, a wonderful night, and I got to walk away with a greater appreciation for a great ingredient.

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