AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 19, 2014) – While a picture is worth a thousand words, a tweet could be worth a trip to Italy, the birthplace of Parmigiano Reggiano. From February 19 to March 2, Whole Foods Market, together with Whole Journeys and the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano, will host a Twitter contest that will result in giving away an eight-day, seven-night tour for two of Emilia-Romagna, the home of Parmigiano Reggiano.

One lucky winner and a guest will explore the origins of Parmigiano Reggiano from the seat of a bicycle, pedaling through the culinary heartland of Italy and enjoying Whole Journey’s intimately local and distinctive itinerary. Whole Journeys is the new travel company from Whole Foods Market, offering guests the chance to explore foreign food cultures by shopping in local markets, cooking with native chefs, and interacting with farmers and producers. This trip for two, valued at $10,900, begins in Cremona and winds along the Po River before a two-day stop in Parma, followed by Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna with authentic, insider-only culinary experiences.

“Knowing where our cheese comes from is one of the cornerstones of Whole Foods Market’s cheese offerings. I visit Italy each year to meet the producers, see the animals and select the wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano that will be sold in our stores,” said Cathy Strange, global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market. “This trip is an excellent opportunity to witness the culinary history and culture of this unique region.”

To enter, Parmigiano Reggiano fans will submit their mightiest 140-character essay tweet for the mightiest of cheeses at People will be able to vote on their favorites, creating a pool of finalists for Whole Foods Market Team Members to vote on the winner.

The 85-pound wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano sold at Whole Foods Market are carefully aged 24 months resulting in a toasted, salty and nutty flavor with subtle crystal-like texture. These wheels are then traditionally hand cracked in stores for the freshest flavor. Shoppers can visit their local store on Saturday, March 8 at 3 p.m. EST to witness a live cracking of Parmigiano Reggiano. Last year, the grocer set the Guinness World Records® title for the largest number of wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano simultaneously cracked – 426!

For more information on the contest, visit Follow the fun at #WFMCheese.