Most of the Parmesan cheese on grocery store shelves is a mere imitation descended from the legendary foodstuff that inspired it: Parmigiano-Reggiano.
This Saturday, you can sample some of the world-famous cheese in Bradenton.
Fresh Market is hosting an in-store event with a cheese wheel cracking demonstration, a talk a with a cheese specialist and free samples of the cheese. Cheese wedges will also be on sale for about $17 a pound.
The event is happening simultaneously at 161 Fresh Market stores at noon on Saturday, including the Manatee Avenue and University Parkway locations.
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Authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano comes from one of five regions in Italy and goes through a rigorous aging and quality verification process; the wheels of cheese even get an official seal from the Italian government.
The 95-pound wheels are valued at over $2,000.
Aged for up to two years, Parmigiano-Reggiano has a sharp, nutty and memorable flavor.
Many cheese makers now have offerings inspired by Parmigiano-Reggiano. You’ll just have to decide for yourself whether they measure up to the “King of Cheeses.”
Details: Noon Saturday. The Fresh Market, 6701 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton and 5251 University Pkwy., University Park. Free. Info: thefreshmarket.com.