Friday, October 18, 2013

Invite the 'King of Cheeses' into your home

Shavings of aged Kirkland Signature Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from Italy dress up a simple open-face, egg-white omelet with sun-dried tomato.

By Victor E. Sasson

My Costco Wholesale offers more than 50 cheeses, but I've narrowed them down to several favorites.

At the top of my list are wedges of Parmigiano Reggiano, an aged cow's milk cheese imported from Italy and sold under the Kirkland Signature house label.

At my Hackensack warehouse store, I paid $10.69 a pound, the lowest price I've found in North Jersey.

The hard cheese crumbles nicely in the mouth when you pair it with wine, nuts, fruit or salad; and melts beautifully when cooked with omelets and frittatas.

Shavings of the cheese get a flavor boost from balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil when you add it to a salad.

I try to avoid full-fat cheese, though make an exception for manchego, a sheep's milk cheese from Spain also available at Costco. 

Parmigiano Reggiano has less fat because it is made from part skimmed cow's milk.

Chef Mario Batali refers to it as the "King of Cheeses," and the taste and versatility certainly bear that out.

Another great reduced-fat selection is Jarlsberg Lite Sliced Swiss Cheese, sold at Costco in a 2-pound package for $8.59, a price cut.

Paired with cinnamon-dusted almonds.

A little heat transforms Parmigiano Reggiano, here with organic brown eggs.
Wedges sold at Costco Wholesale are aged for more than 24 months and have rinds on only two sides, meaning you get more cheese. At home, I trim the rinds and cut the cheese into several small blocks, storing them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Another bonus: Parmigiano Reggiano is a reduced-fat cheese made with part skimmed cow's milk.

An egg-white omelet with Jarlsberg Lite Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese and Kirkland Signature smoked Alaskan wild sockeye salmon.
A bigger refrigerated unit debuted this week at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. It adds a second cold room to the store for conventional eggs and other items.

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