Crucolo cheese is made in a single town in Italy, but The Cheese Shop of Concord will get a big taste of it on Dec. 1, when "the world’s largest wheel of cheese” rolls into the store. At 400 pounds, it's the diameter of a man's arm span.
As cameras snapped and children broke into song, Cheese Shop owner Peter Lovis and his co-workers unrolled a red carpet -- well, a floor mat -- on the sidewalk from the shop to the truck and rolled the cheese, hand over hand, crooning, “Benvenuto, Crucolo,” or welcome Crucolo.
When the cheese got to the threshold of the shop, an extra push was needed to get it over the edge, and into the rear of the shop. Scores of people pushed their way in as Lovis used a taut string to first halve the wheel, then cut it again and again until he got a piece that could be chopped up and handed out to the waiting throng.
Dozens had their pictures taken with the cheese. Cheese Shop personnel passed out balloons in Italy’s tri-colors. Lovis engaged the services of the “Crucolo Dancers” in 2010 who rocked the store. A live jazz trio played upbeat songs as the crowd oohed and aahed over their bite.
“About 50 lbs. was given away on Arrival Day, and the entire wheel of Crucolo sold out in two weeks (at about $20 per lb.),” Lovis said.
The mild, fresh asiago cheese with delicate, muenster-like holes has been made for over 250 years in Rifugio di Crucolo, Italy. It travels for a month to get to Massachusetts. Lovis said the crucolo was “made just for us” in March.
Though not precisely timed, the Accardi truck is expected at approximately 3:30 p.m on Dec. 1.
Lovis has Crucolo recipes and a history of the region where it is made. Visit here.
Betsy Levinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.