How to Break Open a Big Wheel of Parmesan Cheese: A Delightful, 15-Minute Primer

It takes a year to age a wheel of fine parme­san cheese. And about 4 min­utes, of good hard work, to break it open. Above, cheese expert Car­lo Guf­fan­ti walks us through the process. The first inci­sion comes at the 3 minute mark. Var­i­ous knives come into play. Until we reach the sev­en minute mark, when the wheel of cheese final­ly breaks open. All the while, Guf­fan­ti talks about the cheese as if it’s a liv­ing, breath­ing per­son with voli­tion and feel­ings. Maybe that’s what hap­pens when you spend your life mak­ing fine cheeses. Or, maybe he’s just trans­lat­ing Ital­ian expres­sions direct­ly into Eng­lish. Either way, it’s endear­ing.

Note: Accord­ing to The Cheese Chan­nel, which pro­duced this video, what we’re actu­al­ly see­ing is “a wheel of Trent­in­grana – a parme­san-style cheese that’s from Trenti­no. The qual­i­ty of Trent­in­grana is tight­ly con­trolled by appel­la­tion law, which states that it can only be made with raw milk from cows graz­ing on pas­tures or hay (silage is banned).” View more of The Cheese Chan­nel’s videos here.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

MIT Teach­es You How to Speak Ital­ian & Cook Ital­ian Food All at Once (Free Online Course)

Leo Tolstoy’s Fam­i­ly Recipe for Mac­a­roni and Cheese

Sal­vador Dalí’s 1973 Cook­book Gets Reis­sued: Sur­re­al­ist Art Meets Haute Cui­sine

Take UC Berkeley’s Free “Edi­ble Edu­ca­tion 101” Lec­ture Course, Fea­tur­ing a Pan­theon of Sus­tain­able Food Super­stars


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.