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Parmigianno Reggiano $6.79/lb at

Parmigianno Reggiano $6.79/lb at
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  • Parmigianno Reggiano $6.79/lb at

    Post #1 - February 11th, 2006, 5:05 pm
    Post #1 - February 11th, 2006, 5:05 pm Post #1 - February 11th, 2006, 5:05 pm
    Caputo's on Harlem Ave. Bought some today, not sure how long the sale goes on...

    Aged 22 months, from their website:

    Il Giardino® Parmigiano Reggiano

    One of the world's great cheeses, Parmigiano-Reggiano dates back to the 13th Century. It is handmade exactly the way it was 700 years ago, by men called "casaros" who apprentice their craft for over a decade before they are allowed to make even one wheel on their own.
    Completely natural, very high in protein and easily digested, Parmigiano-Reggiano continues to grow in popularity around the world. One of the name controlled cheeses of Italy, Denominazione Di Origine Controllata or "D.O.C.", there are many imitators that call themselves Parmesan, but the real one is easily spotted by its name Parmigiano-Reggiano etched around the sides of every 75 lb wheel.

    Il Giardino® Parmigiano Reggiano is aged 22-24 months and is a versatile eating cheese, when broken into chards and served with dried fruits and nuts, but also indispensable when grated when preparing authentic Italian dishes such as fettuccini Alfredo.
  • Post #2 - February 12th, 2006, 3:01 pm
    Post #2 - February 12th, 2006, 3:01 pm Post #2 - February 12th, 2006, 3:01 pm
    il Giardino is imported and marketed by Swiss Rose, a ConAgra company.

    Not the tastiest one out there...not by a long shot. When I was a cheesebuyer I refused to buy any of this parm - it is perfectly mediocre, supermarket quality.

    Parm varies greatly in quality, depending on where the milk comes from (mountains, valleys, co-op, farm) and the cheese is made. Thankfully, the standardization of manufacturing techniques under the rigid requirements of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano has meant that overall, Parm is pretty consistent and okay. There is no more utterly wretched Parm to be found, but many have also complained that the superlative parm no longer exists either. There is premium stuff out there - Vacche Rosso, a few select parms aged 4+ years, summer parm made up in the mountains from cows grazing in the hills, etc.

    A word of warning: some parm is not meant to be exported. If you see a wheel that has two lines running the circumference of the wheel, or the logo is covered with small 'x's, do not buy - it was determined by the Consorzio to be sub-par and unsuitable for export, yet an intrepid tradesperson has exported it nonetheless.
    CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else.
    -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    www.cakeandcommerce.com
  • Post #3 - February 12th, 2006, 4:48 pm
    Post #3 - February 12th, 2006, 4:48 pm Post #3 - February 12th, 2006, 4:48 pm
    Queijo wrote:il Giardino is imported and marketed by Swiss Rose, a ConAgra company.

    Not the tastiest one out there...not by a long shot. When I was a cheesebuyer I refused to buy any of this parm - it is perfectly mediocre, supermarket quality.



    Obviously, one of the benefits of Il Giardino parm is the price -- at under $7.00, it's about one-third the cost of Vacche Rosse, and as you say, there are controls in place to make sure that even low-cost parm ain't bad.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - February 12th, 2006, 7:07 pm
    Post #4 - February 12th, 2006, 7:07 pm Post #4 - February 12th, 2006, 7:07 pm
    I think the price may be one of the only benefits (ok, it is far preferable to the stuff in the green can...). Obviously, the two parms (Il and Vacche)would have different uses in my kitchen -- I'd save the Vacche Rosso for eating out of hand, whereas the other stuff -- I'd use it in recipes where a high quality parmigiano-reggiano flavor would not be required. Like a four cheese pizza, a pumpkin ravioli, etc.

    I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out how they manage to charge so little for it -- good wholesale parm (much better quality from Virgilio) hasn't dipped below $7 in 6 years.
    CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else.
    -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    www.cakeandcommerce.com
  • Post #5 - February 12th, 2006, 7:28 pm
    Post #5 - February 12th, 2006, 7:28 pm Post #5 - February 12th, 2006, 7:28 pm
    Queijo wrote:I'd use it in recipes where a high quality parmigiano-reggiano flavor would not be required. Like a four cheese pizza, a pumpkin ravioli, etc.


    Glad you raised the question of usability of low-cost parm. In a four-cheese pizza, the flavor of any less-than-excellent formaggio would be submerged, of course, so that'd be a good use. Or maybe grating on spaghetti.

    I've been checking out the vacche rosse -- sounds great (and the Amazon price is $12.99 for 8 oz.)

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #6 - February 12th, 2006, 7:41 pm
    Post #6 - February 12th, 2006, 7:41 pm Post #6 - February 12th, 2006, 7:41 pm
    I'm partial to the mountain wheels of regular cow parm (summer) that have been aged 3+ years -- hard to find, but when you do they hit the spot. In that make happy noises kind of way.
    CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else.
    -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    www.cakeandcommerce.com
  • Post #7 - February 12th, 2006, 8:53 pm
    Post #7 - February 12th, 2006, 8:53 pm Post #7 - February 12th, 2006, 8:53 pm
    Queijo wrote:I'm partial to the mountain wheels of regular cow parm (summer) that have been aged 3+ years -- hard to find, but when you do they hit the spot. In that make happy noises kind of way.


    The stuff available on Amazon is 30 months old, which is pretty close.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0001VDZQ4/103-3323354-9483012?v=glance

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - February 12th, 2006, 9:25 pm
    Post #8 - February 12th, 2006, 9:25 pm Post #8 - February 12th, 2006, 9:25 pm
    could be good. recently the folks at igourmet solicited us at cheesediaries for some kind of partnership. I never found out what they had in mind. I've never ordered from them, so I can't say one way or another if they store their cheese properly. Vacche Rosso is quite nice - worth a try. Also worth trying one of those yummy noise worthy mountain wheels from the summer months (the consorzio publishes a map with locations of all the dairies - you can match the number on your cheese to its location on the map -- one high altitude is 999 - but I think the Vacche is from the mountains, too).

    The cheese tastes quite different from season to season, month to month - diet changes significantly, impacting the fat content and flavor. If you can get to a Consorzio tasting, it is well worth it for the education they provide in understanding these differences.
    CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else.
    -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    www.cakeandcommerce.com
  • Post #9 - February 12th, 2006, 9:34 pm
    Post #9 - February 12th, 2006, 9:34 pm Post #9 - February 12th, 2006, 9:34 pm
    I got a gift package from iGourmet and had mixed feelings about it. One cheese was moldy under its cryovac. The rest were in reasonable shape but unexciting or gimmicky-- a cheese with Guinness mixed in, for instance. Probably a promotional assortment, the kind of "gourmet" stuff that really isn't very high quality at all.

    I guess I would say, for $12.99, it's hard to regard the parmiggiano Dave's talking about as a big risk. Try it, see if it's in good shape when you get it.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #10 - February 12th, 2006, 9:40 pm
    Post #10 - February 12th, 2006, 9:40 pm Post #10 - February 12th, 2006, 9:40 pm
    Mike G wrote:I got a gift package from iGourmet and had mixed feelings about it.


    I've given my parents iGourmet stuff several times, and they've raved about it, but have actually never had it myself. I will probably order the parm from Marion Street Cheese Market, if I can, just because I prefer to give them the biz.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - February 12th, 2006, 9:53 pm
    Post #11 - February 12th, 2006, 9:53 pm Post #11 - February 12th, 2006, 9:53 pm
    You know, this is why I've been reluctant to post here.

    I came across a really cheap price for real Parmigiano Reggiano and I get blasted for recommending something "perfectly mediocre, supermarket quality."

    Caputo's is a supermarket; I made no other representation.

    I just think that <$7/lb for such an item represents value.

    Actually, <$10/lb is a pretty good deal with Whole Paycheck charging closer to $20/lb for the same grade....

    So I wouldn't neccesarily serve it on its own or with a touch of white truffle honey.

    Grated over bucatini with dried chile, garlic and olive oil?; absolutely.

    I've bought some great 3+ year old Parm from Jim Graziano on Randolph, but mention it only because someone else has posted on it, thereby granting it currency.

    DiPalo's in NYC has a good selection of summer and winter Parmigiano aged from three to five years; they'll ship if you call them, iirc.

    That said, I guess I'll just revert back to reading and not posting.

    N.B. Ann Fisher is right about Berwyn Fruit Market on S. Harlem, btw. Lotsa great stuff in lotsa aisles throughout the store...
  • Post #12 - February 12th, 2006, 9:59 pm
    Post #12 - February 12th, 2006, 9:59 pm Post #12 - February 12th, 2006, 9:59 pm
    mchodera wrote:I just think that <$7/lb for such an item represents value.


    I'm in full agreement -- at one-third the price of some premium varieties, I'd definitely use it.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #13 - February 12th, 2006, 10:04 pm
    Post #13 - February 12th, 2006, 10:04 pm Post #13 - February 12th, 2006, 10:04 pm
    Mchodera, I don't see why you think you were blasted by a single thing in this thread. The cheese you brought up, maybe it got blasted. But still.

    You mentioned a cheese, which at its price has some perfectly legitimate uses (a point made subsequently in the thread).

    However, an actual (ex) cheese seller shared his knowledge about that type of cheese, which left us all considerably better informed about parmiggiano than we started the day. In the process, another cheese was brought up which is also available at a good price.

    Net result, an interesting discussion and some considerable sharing of knowledge. Possibly even some cheese purchases.

    Would it be better for everyone to go uh-hmm, that's nice and not share what they know? I certainly don't think so.

    I kvetched in another thread about political correctness being the death of useful information-sharing on LTH, but surely concern about offending others with good information that happens to contradict what someone else posted is just as big a risk to the long-term value of the site. (I don't know, it never bugs me, in fact I used to play foil for RST on Chowhound, posing average-guy questions knowing the response would be about as solicitous of feelings as a sledgehammer, but that good info would be included along the way.) I mean, we try to make this about as nice a place as exists on the Internet, but the price of talking to people who know more than you about something is that occasionally they're going to demonstrate the fact. To me, that's a feature, not a bug.

    Anyway, Mchodera, I just don't think there's anything here you should take personally, and some good info which I'm glad to have had shared here.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #14 - February 12th, 2006, 11:27 pm
    Post #14 - February 12th, 2006, 11:27 pm Post #14 - February 12th, 2006, 11:27 pm
    MikeG:

    I'm not going to go beyond this one thing:

    I didn't do anything but provide a bit of information, to wit:

    Caputo's is selling PR at $6.79

    I didn't promise that it would it would be mind-blowing.

    I thought it represented value.

    A good cheese at a really good price. Maybe a great price.

    IMHO I got a hostile reply.

    "I refused to buy any of this parm - it is perfectly mediocre, supermarket quality."

    Not exactly a friendly, convivial, "Hey, here's a bit of info about this cheese maker / importer."

    Personally, I would never have responded in that way.

    I was simply trying to pass on something I thought was a relatively good deal; pardon me for my attempt....
  • Post #15 - February 12th, 2006, 11:50 pm
    Post #15 - February 12th, 2006, 11:50 pm Post #15 - February 12th, 2006, 11:50 pm
    mchodera wrote:I was simply trying to pass on something I thought was a relatively good deal; pardon me for my attempt....

    Mchodera,

    It was good info. I, for one, am glad you posted. Queijo's info was good as well, one is not at the exclusion of the other.

    I also think we, including me, need to read David Hammond's Contentiousness is contagious post.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - February 13th, 2006, 2:03 am
    Post #16 - February 13th, 2006, 2:03 am Post #16 - February 13th, 2006, 2:03 am
    I have posted a reply in Site Chat.
  • Post #17 - February 13th, 2006, 7:23 am
    Post #17 - February 13th, 2006, 7:23 am Post #17 - February 13th, 2006, 7:23 am
    mchodera,

    Having just plunked down money on parmagiano reggiano this weekend, I enjoyed the thread you started and thought it was very informative. I even thought that, as someone who is obviously interested enough in p-r to quote a price, you'd be delighted with the in-depth discussion that ensued, even if you ultimately disagreed with some of the comments by later poster(s). However, my enjoyment was halted when you posted again not to further the discussion, but solely to take offense because someone simply pointed out that he thought this extremely inexpensive cheese was mediocre. Big deal. Surely, you have tougher skin than this and can privately manage any slight offenses taken without publicizing them on the board.
  • Post #18 - February 13th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Post #18 - February 13th, 2006, 8:59 am Post #18 - February 13th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Aschie 30,

    I don't know who you are, but let me put you down as a new hero around here or, with that kind of wisdom, the new sage.

    Sorry, I can't really add anything to the Parm thread. I grew up in a town where Tolibia Company dried, cut and ground cheese. On a warm summer day you could tell when they were cutting the cheese. :wink: A healthy stink enveloped the town from about June to September. Sadly, I also grew up on the "green can" and various private lables. Just about any Parm sold in hunks puts a smile on my face....I won't admit to making happy noises. I appreciated your post for information and Queijo's opinion as relevant, but over the top, for my tastes.

    I like to think about civil conversation as what I would have at a party in my house. That does not mean a church ice cream social or customer sales meeting where I am trying to be overtly polite. It also does not mean a debate or board room where I may have to say something impolite to prove someone wrong or care less about feelings and more about proof.

    At this "cocktail party" I would want people to feel welcome, but they should be able to face a few challenges to their opinions without a complete meltdown and take good nature ribbing on occasion. Scoffing at someone's opinion is acceptable...and, on occassion, keeps the conversation lively. However, I wouldn't want anyone to be so offended that they did not want to come back. And, like many parties, I would rush to the aid of wallflowers being cornered unfairly by the more gregarious or step in when I felt the ribbing to be intentionally mean spirited.

    Unfortunately, even though I like to keep a wide circle of friends, some folks who cannot stand the rigor of cocktail party conversation are going to have to remain at home and read or hear about the party the next day because I no longer want them at my parties.

    That's my two cents worth on civility.

    ...back to the food.

    On Thursday evening I bunch of us are getting together to BYOB, see Events board. In addition to a bottle of wine, Mchodera and Queijo, can each bring a hunk o'cheese, and we'll settle this over a few glasses of wine (or bottles depending on your constitution :oops: ).
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #19 - February 13th, 2006, 9:56 am
    Post #19 - February 13th, 2006, 9:56 am Post #19 - February 13th, 2006, 9:56 am
    pdaane wrote:Sadly, I also grew up on the "green can" and various private lables.


    I believe that my parents still have the "green can" that I grew up on in their refrigerator. :wink:

    I will definitely try to make it to the TTT- sounds great - it will depend on how my workload :roll: unfolds today.

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