split wheels

Look, everyone! It’s a pic of the last wheel of parmigiano reggiano I’ll probably ever handle. I was going through some photographs and found this; figured I’d throw it up on Tumblr for all you cheese-friendly folks.

I’m used to quartering wheels and we used to have a competition at work to see who could get the closest. I left my job as reigning champion, with a total variance of 0.21 lb.

If you have never seen a wheel of parm in its natural state, this one’s a pretty good example. It weighed about 88 pounds and was roughly 30 months old. It was worth a little over a thousand dollars. Yep, that’s a grand right there.

This is one of my favorite cheeses. Once you have stuck your face between the freshly split halves of a wheel of parm and smelled that ineffable aroma you will never be able to look at the sad green can in the same way.

Some Parm Facts:

  • It can be made only in ParmaReggio EmiliaBologna (only the area to the left of the river Reno), Modena, (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantova (in Lombardia, but only the area to the south of river Po).
  • It’s made with full-fat milk from the morning’s milking as well as naturally-skimmed milk from the previous evening. The cream separates overnight, resulting in a part-skim cheese.
  • It takes about 175 gallons of milk to make a single wheel of parmigiano!
  • After a year of aging, a master grader checks the soundness of each wheel using only a hammer and his trained ear. The master grader hammers the cheese, listening to ensure there are no voids.
  • Every wheel is branded and stamped, so that each can be traced to its origin point, one of roughly 400 cheese houses.
  • It is an ancient cheese, unchanged by time. When you eat a piece of parm, you are tasting what people tasted 900 years ago. You get to devour history!
  • The playwright Molière decided to live on a diet consisting of 12 ounces of parmigiano reggiano and three glasses of port a day.
  • Parm was at one point worth so much in England that during the Great Fire of 1666 Samuel Pepys buried his in the garden to protect it from the flames.
  • There are over 300,000 wheels of Parmesan cheese stored in bank vaults in Italy, worth over $200 million. The cheese is held as collateral for loans to the cheese makers to assist their cash flow as the cheese takes so long to mature.

And that’s all I got. This will be the final episode of Cheese of the Month, seeing as how I’m no longer working with cheese. Go forth, and accept no imitation parm!

MERCURY

ruled by: gemini, virgo
colour: blue
identity: genderfluid
natal cycle: 280-365 days (approx.)

what is it?
the planet in our solar system that is closest to the sun. in roman mythology, mercury was the equivalent to hermes (greek mythology) the messenger god. mercury/hermes is responsible for sending messages from god-to-god, therefore having a very important role.

how does it work? each sign has 30° in our charts (meaning the natal wheel is split into 12 sections). mercury will travel into the next sign every 14-30 days, depending on its motion.

what does it represent?
mercury represents our communication and our handwriting. sometimes the way we write is influenced too. when looking at posts on tumblr, you should check your mercury on posts like “how the signs talk about…” or “the signs handwriting”.