Can I buy a large cheese wheel without paying a fortune?

I was looking into the economics of buying cheese in bulk but it seems as if cheese becomes more expensive per pound, not less, as the sizes go up. Apparently the presumption is that anyone wanting a large cheese wheel is looking for an expensive artisan cheese. Of course there’s buying boxes or cases of smaller blocks of cheese but for long-term storage a single large piece is going to have proportionately less outside to dry out or go moldy. So far anyway the best deal I’ve found is a wholesale outlet where I can buy a ten-pound block of cheddar for $28; spending more per pound would be counter-productive.

Only artisan cheese comes as ‘a large cheese wheel’.

I see cheese at $100 per ton, so the price isn’t going up with volume. At that price, it doesn’t come in a round, and doesn’t come in wax.

Paging @Qadgop_the_Mercotan !

He’s the SDMB Cheese-guy.

It would be nice to have a nice hoop of hoop, but yeah: expensive.

I was recently shopping at one of the more up-market (read: expensive) grocery stores here in Olympia, and in the gourmet cheeses cooler they had a quarter-wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano on sale for about $220.

I don’t think I’ll go through that much parm in the entire rest of my life, though, so I had to settle with paying $7.99 for a 5 oz. wedge.

You could invest in cheese futures! :grinning:

Minimum quantity: 20,000 pounds of cheese.


Cheese wheels are wonderful dream, but save for the smaller artisanal ones, I avoid them because it’s tough to keep the cheese from getting moldy once the wheel is cracked. I restrict my larger purchases to 5 lb blocks of 5 year old cheddar, and buy that right at the factory.

Decades ago, we did obtain a 10 lb wheel of 12 year old cheddar (a precious gift from the owner of said local cheese factory), wrapped in actual cheesecloth under the wax seal, to serve at a large party. It was wondrous, and we had enough leftovers to use the remains to make delicious souffles and grilled elder cheese sandwiches, out of them. The glory of the memory lives on.

It used to be dirt cheap to obtain large volumes of cheese direct from the factory, but many of the producers these days have keyed into the demand for their specialty products and charge accordingly. Though you can still find bargains at the factory. I’ve found discounted 1/2 to 1 lb blocks of 8 or 9 year old cheese at the cedar valley factory outlet store. IF you happen to be in the area anyway.

A wheel would be nice because it doesn’t have corners to dry out, but I’m currently buying blocks anyway so that wouldn’t be any loss. Even if it doesn’t come waxed it still forms a dry rind if stored properly, another reason to want a larger block. And I don’t need ginormous amounts, twenty or at most forty pounds would be plenty.

BTW: $100 a ton?!? Please point me to your source.

Well of course once cracked the open sides have to be used regularly so mold doesn’t set in. I’ve found that a cheese planer or shaver is helpful because you can remove a modest serving from the open surface regularly enough:

I’ve always thought it would be awesome to buy a Parmesan cheese wheel ($$$) and hollow it out so I can use it to toss fresh hot pasta. Given how much Parm we use on a regular basis, it probably isn’t a bad idea.

Ever since I went to a restaurant years ago that served me pasta like this I’ve wanted to try it at home. Maybe when that lottery ticket hits…

On the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cheddar cheese prices are quoted in cents per pound, even though it is impossible to buy less than 20,000 pounds in a contract. The current price is about 180 cents per pound or $3600 per ton or $36,000 per ten-ton contract.

So has anyone tried to corner the cheddar cheese market?

How do you corner a wheel?

$1.80 per pound sounds more plausible; and even then I presume that is the paper “futures” price which has little to do with what anyone would have to pay to actually walk away with a large block of cheese. My best hope is direct from the factory but as Qadgop mentioned it probably isn’t as cheap as it used to be.

Park too close to the curb.

It’s impossible. Everyone knows you can’t square a circle.

I’d rather have a nice cacio e pepe.

Why do you think I said we go through so much parm?! :yum:

We accidentally used parm instead of peccorino romano for our cacio e pepe once. It got very lumpy.

In my defense, my wife is in charge of all pasta cookery. I just grate whatever I’m handed. It may well be Pecorino. :blush: