AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 19, 2013) – In its fifth year of celebrating Parmigiano Reggiano, Whole Foods Market will “crack away” in order to take back the crown for the largest number of wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano simultaneously cracked. The organic and natural foods grocer previously set the record in 2008 and will sharpen its knives to attempt it again on March 9 at 2 p.m. CST.

“Whole Foods Market welcomes the opportunity to win this honor once again. For years, our shoppers have trusted us to provide the highest quality Parmigiano Reggiano on the market, and through the strong relationships we have with Italy’s best producers, we have done just that,” said Cathy Strange, global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market.

During the crack-off event in stores across North America and in the United Kingdom, shoppers can share their love of Parmigiano Reggiano for a chance to win big with an Instagram contest, Cheese lovers attending any one of the events are invited to simply share a photo tagged with #parmcrack on March 9, for a chance to win a $250 gift card to Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods Market is also hosting a “Parmigiano Reggiano Palate Blogger Challenge.”  Bloggers are invited to share personal stories about how their palates have evolved over time and how Parmigiano Reggiano was a part of that transformation. They are invited to share a recipe featuring Parmigiano Reggiano that showcases their culinary talents. The winner will receive a trip for two to New York City to attend an exclusive cheese and wine media event on May 15, 2013. Details are available here:

Whole Foods Market’s cheese buyers travel to Italy’s Parma region to visit authentic producers and select wheels based on the highest quality flavor profile. Those wheels are then carefully aged 24 months to achieve the toasted, salty and nutty flavor and subtle crystal-like texture Whole Foods Market shoppers crave.

To learn more about Whole Foods Market’s Parmigiano Reggiano and the cracking events at its stores, visit For recipes and hi-res images, visit