Scardello Has a New Wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, and It's Spectacular

Categories: Eat This

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Rich Rogers uses a traditional knife to score a fresh wheel of Parm
Yesterday I paid a visit to Rich Rogers, owner of Scardello Artisan Cheese, to talk Parm. The shop sells the cheese from a whole wheel they purchase every other month or so. When a new wheel arrives, Rogers gets excited. His wife Karen gets excited. Parmigiano Reggiano is after all, the king of cheeses.

Rogers pointed to the stamps that marred the oily rind and explained each one: the date the wheel was approved and certified as Parmigiano Reggiano; the lot from which it was produced; the green symbol that denotes the Bonati family as the farm of origin. Giorgio Bonati makes the wheels from a single herd of cows.

Rogers used one knife with a hook on the end to cut a deep score completely around the wheel. He drove three traditional blades (coltello per Parmigiano if you're ever in Italy) deep into the rind. It's a careful, deliberate process: the knives act like wedges, and over the course of 15 minutes the wheel gently cleaves in two, and the most amazing aroma pours out into the room ...

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Pineapple.

Rich, sweet, fresh, pineapple, riding on the waves of the most intense Parmigiano odors that have ever graced my olfactory perception. It was intoxicating.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a sturdy cheese that stores well, but Rogers will admit that like wine, a wheel of cheese is not going to get any better after you open it. He stores the wheel carefully, and often shaves the dry, oxidized layer that forms on the outside to expose fresh a fresh surface for his customers.

But watching that wheel "pop," as Rogers puts it, is a sight every food lover should witness. It also provides an ample learning opportunity for those wishing to be schooled in the visual characteristics of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Check out the rind. It's not white. It's happy.
Check out the layer of cheese just inside the outer rind. It's dark and rich and almost translucent. As the cheese ages that rind will oxidize and dry out. A white patina will appear along the edge of the rind. It will still be good cheese. But it won't be as good as the cheese you're looking at now.

So do this soon. Get your ass to Scardello and pick up a pound of delicious fresh parm. Run home as fast as you can and put a large pot of salty water on the stove to boil. Toss in a half pound or so of your favorite pasta (I like linguini) and give it a stir. Into a large skillet put a 1/4 cup of good olive oil (or more, it's your dinner) and bring it to temperature over low heat. Add coarse and freshly ground black pepper. Mind your flame. Not too hot. You want to smell fruity olive oil and brash black pepper but you don't want to cook either of them.

When the pasta is almost finished drain it and quickly add it to the skillet, reserving a cup or so of the cooking water. Turn up the heat. Grate as much Parmigiano Reggiano as you like over the simmering dish. Watch as the wisps of cheese melt and disappear. Add a little water if the dish looks dry.

As the water cooks off, and the cheese incorporates, you'll be left with the most amazing sauce that clings to and completely integrates with the pasta.

Try not to weep. This is the best sort of eating.

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While we waited for the parm to "pop," Rogers opened a Cabot Cloth Bound Cheddar from Vermont. It was the color of bones.

Location Info

Scardello Artisan Cheese

3511 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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35 comments
Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

I couldn't see the markings on that wheel, but I was at Central Market in Southlake tonight and they had some $40/lb wheel of Parm they were hawking. 

As far as being around to crack a Parm...it's great. I've even been lucky enough to get to cut into one. Nothing like cheese straight off the wheel. It's awesome.

Billdance11
Billdance11

We tried Rich and his place in the past. He had an attitude and dismissed our questions. Other places in DFW are more open to hepling and educating the masses. I consider myself a cheese person and will not be going back to Rich.

Jessica
Jessica

I am a 26 years old girl, down to earth and cute but still single ... I  wanna find my lover who  can give me a real love,so I joined in the seekcasual.COM,it's the best club for  man and woman finding their intimate encounters. Well, you do not have to be lonely , you  can meet the Mr. or Miss. Right there.

Nick R.
Nick R.

Not going to lie, I heard The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" when he cracked it open

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

Jimmy's Food Store purchases whole wheels, goes through multiple wheels a month and charges only $9.99 a pound.  What does Scardello charge?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I've been to Parmigiano Reggiano, said in a condescending voice reminiscent of Jon Daniels.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

effing amazing!!!!! mmmm Parm, I need to see this in person, the "pop" must be exhilarating

Steve
Steve

What are we drinking with this, some Tignanello?

jon from tjs
jon from tjs

rich and his team rock.  support indie food shops!

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

WOW, ya'll know I love parm!  When we "was" Kergo kids, we would go to Vermont and NH for fresh eggs, cheese and produce.  

MLST
MLST

AMAZING! Can this store tweet out a Cacio e Pepe posting everytime they get a new wheel. I'd run out to purchase!

Guest
Guest

I find his staff much nicer to deal with.

Guest
Guest

Try Molto Formaggio in HP Village or Central Market. They're always knowledgeable and helpful. The Wholefoods cheese department in Lakewood is very good, too. Their two year old Parm is $19.95 LB.

Guest
Guest

FUCKING, S-P-A-M !!!

Wanda in Wewoka
Wanda in Wewoka

Is King's Caberet not working out?  You could be a hooker on Harry Hines. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Maybe you and Twimwillow can hook......ahhhh......that's not a good choice.  How about Jon Dan.........owww!....he's lefthanded also!  Anyhoo, the f+cking whore blog is two doors down; just past blog #1 (Mary) and blog #2 (JD and TW's lame bitching blog).  JD also has a blog (#18) about being f+cking cool, stinky, and livin' in a shitty neighborhood!

Kergie out.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Love that. Love that....even the Kergon teenage kid love's that. Those drums.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

CHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.......I'd weigh 160 lbs. if it weren't for LOVELY, chewy cheese. 

Guest
Guest

No doubt, much more. But, as much as I love Jimmy's, their Parm is only aged for 12 months. Scardello's Parm is aged for over two years and all the milk comes from one farm. If you tasted both side by side you'd understand the difference.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Almost three times that. But all parms are not created equal. Still $10 a pound is a killer deal, you old bastard

Guest
Guest

I'd love to see Kergo/Josh (same person) split in half and watch him POP! Now, THAT would really be exhilarating!

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Dear Steve,    Twinwillow liked the post.....kiss of death!?

Guest
Guest

Kergo has become a pussy as of late. Maybe he is back on his meds, or his great grand children paid him a visit for hanukkah and he is happy again.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

We'd head out back to the chicken coop, moo cow and garden..to each his own I reckon.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Yeah, if you hide in the Lipstick parking lot, you can make a mint!  BUT, hide, behind the dumpster.

Guest
Guest

Saving sloppy seconds for you, kerg. I know how much you enjoy that.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I can attest that they are definately not the same person

Guest
Guest

It's Chanukah. With a C.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

That's all I need to hear......FULL BOAR tomorrow!  Normally I'm being told to tone it down; but, I think yer right.

Guest
Guest

Regardless, same mentality. or, lack of.

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