Sounds kind of random, I know, but it's basically a cheese lover's dream come true (so, everyone's). A cheese wheel is a full round of Parmigiano-Reggiano partially hollowed out into a bowl. To use it, you place pasta or risotto inside the bowl and toss the hot food while the cheese slowly melts and combines with the pasta. As Chrissy says of the process: "It makes me emotional." Me too, Chrissy!
Photo credit: Imgur
At first I was more surprised that it's not more common to serve food from a gigantic wheel of cheese in the U.S., because we're a nation of cheese obsessers. But then I found out how much they cost! Here are 6 fascinating facts about the new wish list item you need to tell Santa about, stat.
1. Preparing pasta this way is called dalla forma, and it's a real technique used in Italy. Sometimes the cheese is also flambéed before the pasta is tossed in, to help get things nice and melty. Incredible, right?
2. They're expensive. On Amazon.com, an 80-pound wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano will set you back $2,788. At least the shipping is only $3.99... Or you can finally get that Costco membership you've been meaning to sign up for and buy a 72-pounder for the bargain price of $900.
3. At least you get your money's worth. You can get approximately 250 servings out of one wheel.
4. They're easy to keep clean. Simply scrape out all the food and melted cheese when you serve. Then wipe the interior with a damp cloth before wrapping it and putting it back in the fridge.
5. The cheese wheels last a restaurant for two to three months. At that point, typically the bottom becomes too thin from scraping. Depending on the size and how often you use it, yours may last longer.
6. It's still useful even then. You can grate the remaining cheese over your food whenever you want some. No complaints here!
I also wonder what else would be amazing if served from a cheese wheel. Scrambled eggs? Basically any sautéed vegetables? Mashed potatoes? Steak tips? The possibilities are endless.
I don't know about you guys, but even though it would be a true investment, a cheese wheel might be a culinary prize worth saving for.
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