Loblaws cracks Parmigiano-Reggiano world record

At 12 noon today, Loblaws stores across Ontario banded together to break the Guinness World Records title for the most Parmigiano-Reggiano wheels cracked simultaneously.

Employees in more than 250 stores were specially trained to crack more than 300 wheels at one time. A representative from the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium was in attendance in Toronto at the Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens store as the stores attempted the historic endeavour which CheeseLover.ca witnessed at the Pickering store—mainly because we love the smell and taste of freshly cracked DOP Parm.

That’s Nunzio Coppa (left) and Phil Chamberlain displaying their handiwork in Pickering. It took them just over four minutes to crack open the 40-kilogram wheels.

The former record was 176 wheels achieved in 2008. The new record by Loblaws will be tabulated later today.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard Italian cheese produced in the region of Parma, Italy, using the same recipe for almost 1,000 years. Parmigiano-Reggiano has been considered for centuries as the “king of cheese” with its amazing taste and crystalline texture. It is sold exclusively around the world through the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium (or Consorzio).

Second annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival upcoming

Cheese lovers can taste and buy more than 100 Canadian artisan cheeses at the Festival and sample Canadian wine, craft beer and cider, plus taste and buy artisanal foods.

In less than three months, thousands of cheese lovers will be in heaven at the second annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

It’s the one and only event in Canada whose chief objective is to promote Canadian cheese and cheesemakers and the consumption of Canadian artisan, farmstead and specialty cheese.

Advance tickets are on sale online for the June 1-3 Festival in Picton, Prince Edward County, Ontario’s fastest-growing gastronomic destination. Space is limited so don’t delay in buying tickets.

  • Taste and purchase Canadian cheese from coast to coast
  • Meet leading cheesemakers from Quebec, Ontario and the rest of Canada
  • Learn about the best in Canadian cheese at special presentations by Dairy Farmers of Canada in the All You Need Is Cheese Annex
  • Enjoy amazing cheese dishes at the Cooks & Curds Gala prepared by outstanding chefs such as Jamie Kennedy of Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, Toronto, and Michael Blackie of the National Arts Centre, Ottaw
  • See the animals that produce milk for cheese at the Festival Dairy Farm. Try milking a cow!
  • Let experts such as Julia Rogers, Andy Shay, Vanessa Simmons and Janice Beaton fuel your passion in tutored cheese tastings
  • Take a cheese tour of Prince Edward County
  • Learn to cook with artisan cheese at From the Farm Cooking School.
  • Eat out at County restaurants featuring cheese-themed dinners
  • Share your passion for cheese with kindred spirits from across Canada

Canadian artisan cheese—in all its delicious variations—is the primary focus of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, but fine wine and craft beer are also featured, along with artisanal foods.

Who benefits?

It’s a win-win scenario for hundreds of producers and thousands of consumers. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds funds a scholarship for young Canadians pursuing a career in cheese.

Only Canadian cheesemakers who turn the pure milk of Canadian cows, goats, sheep and water buffalo into cheese, using no modified milk ingredients (MMI), are invited to participate in the Festival.


Meet PEI’s award-winning cheesemaker in Toronto and Waterloo

Armand Bernard of Cows Creamery in a cheesy photo among lobster pots.

Prince Edward Island’s award-winning cheesemaker, Armand Bernard of Cows Creamery, is hosting “Meet the Cheesemaker” sampling events in Toronto and Waterloo on March 8 to 11.  Bernard is the artisan behind award-winning cheeses like Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar and Cows Creamery Extra Old Cheddar.

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar is produced according to a traditional recipe from the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland.  In 2011, it won its category the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix and the American Cheese Society Competition.

Cows Creamery Extra Old Cheddar is aged for two years and is made from Prince Edward Island cow’s milk.  In 2009, it won its class in the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.

When and Where:

Thursday, March 8: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens, 60 Carlton Street, Toronto.

Friday, March 9: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nature’s Emporium, 16655 Yonge Street, Newmarket, Ontario.

Saturday, March 10: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Vincenzo’s, 150 Caroline Street South, Waterloo, Ontario.

Sunday, March 11: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at McEwan, 38 Karl Fraser Road, Toronto.

Cows Creamery cheeses are distributed in Ontario by Glen Echo Fine Foods.