Jon and I went to a cheese wheel cracking for Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese at the local gourmet supermarket. The cheese cracking is significant because it takes skill to successfully crack a wheel, and the cheese flavor is quite unique upon first crack.
At precisely 2pm, we waited for the cracking to begin.
Patti, our cheesemonger, began scoring and then inserting a special set of knives into the 80 pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
She inserted the knives, then wriggled them back an forth in three specific locations.
Then, she flipped over the wheel and did the same, careful to work on the midline.
We watched as a crack emerged.
And then she pulled apart the beautiful halves. They gave our samples of the freshly cracked cheese. I was very curious as to the taste. The freshly cracked cheese tasted like mozzarella and then finished with sharp flavors of parmigiano. As the cheese is exposed to oxygen, the flavor changes and becomes more sharp and dry.
It was a great sight.