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Best price on Parmesan in West end?

SocksManly Apr 5, 2009 09:22 AM

Hey everyone, curious where the best place to buy some real parmesan is? I live in Etobicoke, willing to travel a bit for the right place.

Also it's just me and my wife, how much should I get?

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  1. Kagemusha RE: SocksManly Apr 5, 2009 09:25 AM


    1 Reply
    1. re: Kagemusha
      tuttebene RE: Kagemusha Apr 5, 2009 01:43 PM

      Ditto. Hands downs the best price in town, and quality is great.

    2. Food Tourist RE: SocksManly Apr 5, 2009 01:48 PM

      If you can't shop at Costco, try Pasquale Bros (only open weekdays until 4:30).

      9 Replies
      1. re: Food Tourist
        SocksManly RE: Food Tourist Apr 7, 2009 02:31 PM

        I've wanted to go there, but I usually wake up at like 2pm, so they're kinda writing themselves out of my play book unfortunately :/

        1. re: SocksManly
          pinstripeprincess RE: SocksManly Apr 7, 2009 02:52 PM

          i'm pretty sure they're open saturday as well until about 5 or 6pm... let's say 5 to be safe. otherwise i'd never get there!

          they were open on sundays for a while around christmas.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess
            Food Tourist RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 7, 2009 06:10 PM

            When was the last time you went on a Saturday?


            1. re: Food Tourist
              pinstripeprincess RE: Food Tourist Apr 8, 2009 07:22 AM

              month and a half ago?

            2. re: pinstripeprincess
              LTL RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 8, 2009 07:30 AM

              I just called and they said they're only open on the 7 Saturdays before Christmas. Looks like my best best for cheap and good Parmesan won't work out :(

              1. re: LTL
                pinstripeprincess RE: LTL Apr 8, 2009 07:38 AM

                colour me shocked and confused.... i don't drive and so depend on someone who works mon-fri to take me there for my fill. how in the world have i been there without going on a saturday?

                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                  LTL RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 8, 2009 08:12 AM

                  I don't know. That is what the person on the phone told me! I was so excited when you said that you've been going on Saturday, because there's no way I could make it there on a weekday before 430pm :(

                  1. re: LTL
                    pinstripeprincess RE: LTL Apr 8, 2009 08:29 AM

                    sorry about that. it must've been that i was catching a lot of their winter saturdays without realizing it.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess
                      LTL RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 8, 2009 09:47 AM

                      No problem! At least now we know before making the trek :)

        2. c
          childofthestorm RE: SocksManly Apr 5, 2009 04:00 PM

          Oh but seriously I get the 24 month giant wedge at Costco in Etobicoke and it is fantastic. If you're not a member just join for that reason. And then discover plenty of other reasons.

          1. JamieK RE: SocksManly Apr 5, 2009 04:31 PM

            Well it might not be the cheapest, especially in comparison to Costco, but Cheese Boutique is a wonderful place to get good quality parmesan as well as many other cheeses. It's near South Kingsway and Queensway.

            Cheese Boutique
            45 Ripley Ave, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

            6 Replies
            1. re: JamieK
              Kagemusha RE: JamieK Apr 5, 2009 04:52 PM

              Even for the math-challenged, CB is no deal--ever. Per unit cost difference relative to Costco is staggering for NO difference in quality.

              1. re: Kagemusha
                bogie RE: Kagemusha Apr 5, 2009 08:16 PM

                I respectfully disagree. The Cheese Boutique price on genuine parm is excellent if you consider that they age it a further 12 months inhouse and the quality difference IS significant actually.

                1. re: bogie
                  redearth RE: bogie Apr 5, 2009 08:56 PM

                  I do love the Cheese Boutique, and I have nothing but respect for what they do, particularly when it comes to them aging cheeses and quality cuts of meats in house. Nobody in Toronto does it better. On the other hand, when one is looking for a sizable piece of Parmigiano Reggiano that will fulfill most people's needs, Costco will fit the bill, and then some, nine times outta ten.

                  1. re: bogie
                    Kagemusha RE: bogie Apr 6, 2009 05:21 AM

                    Sorry but I'm not that credulous when it comes to CB's rationalizations for their pricing, especially when quality Reggiano is available elsewhere for a great deal less. They're masters of the placebo, granted, but I'm not buying it.

                2. re: JamieK
                  SocksManly RE: JamieK Apr 7, 2009 02:32 PM

                  You mean like the $1.99 bottle of Sriracha sauce they were selling for..... Drumroll people......


                  Must have been a typo right.... ;)

                  1. re: SocksManly
                    JamieK RE: SocksManly Apr 7, 2009 02:46 PM

                    don't know about the sauces, although they seem to have every condiment known to mankind.

                    Like I said, good quality cheeses available there and yes, the cost might be higher but I've seen and tasted better selection there and received better service than for instance my local Alex Cheese. They guy there hadn't even heard of Thunder Oak.

                3. redearth RE: SocksManly Apr 5, 2009 04:41 PM

                  Costco, for sure. Great Parm, great price.

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: redearth
                    aveivy RE: redearth Apr 6, 2009 06:59 AM

                    It think it helps to get specific - In December I compared prices at Loblaws to Costco: Loblaws was $52/kg and Costco was $26/kg, so no comparison. Does anyone know what CB charges?

                    I have no idea how CB's aging affects the cheese, but I find no difference between Lowblaws and Costco cheese (and there shouldn't be - they've both got "REGIANO" burned into the rind). The one caveat is that Costco wants to sell you a pretty big chunk (I think about $20-25 - almost a kilo!). The cheese will keep for a while if you take care to wrap it well in the fridge.

                    1. re: aveivy
                      pinstripeprincess RE: aveivy Apr 6, 2009 08:04 AM

                      this is the first post that mentions hard numbers so i'm just responding to it for that reason... would love all costco lovers to give me any more info..... but what are the average sizes of these costco chunks and how much rind are we looking at?

                      sometimes i feel that for the size of the piece and length of time that it is in the fridge, it dries out so quickly that i have an awfully large rind to deal with in the end. i could toss it into my broths but haven't really wanted that flavour in anything recently. so how much "unusable" cheese do you end up with?

                      my current go to is pasquale bros and i have to admit that their pricing has always been consistently lower than anywhere else that i just buy with abandon there. if costco is truly worth it then i might coerce my costco friends to pick up a piece for me. i suspect that pricing is around $35/kilo (though don't quote me on this)... and i can get a piece virtually any size i want.

                      btw... i can't stand cheese boutique. after they convinced me their truffle oil was tops for quality vs price and i purchased a bottle to try out at home.. it was just extra virgin olive oil with a hint of chemical truffle. anything i poured it on just reeked of grassy olive oil rather than truffle. huge disappointment.

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                        aser RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 6, 2009 08:24 AM

                        I would avoid truffle oil in general, since as you mentioned it's a taste derived from chemical compositions.


                        I know longo's sells parm reg for about $39.50 per kg. Healthy Butcher and Pusateri's are in the mid $60's per kg range. Loblaws is at $45 and up, they have several different brands.

                        Pusateri's also has this at $34.99/lb, times that by 2.2 and you get it in kg.


                        1. re: aser
                          pinstripeprincess RE: aser Apr 6, 2009 08:43 AM

                          ah... 2.2 shows up in my daily life! it looks like pasquale may still be winning for me.

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess
                            childofthestorm RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 6, 2009 09:42 AM

                            For point of reference, what I currently have in my fridge from Costco is Ambrosi D.O.P. aged 24 months, it's a 1.1 kg chunk and I paid $28.

                            Best thing about getting the big chunk is it encourages you to eat more.

                            1. re: childofthestorm
                              pinstripeprincess RE: childofthestorm Apr 7, 2009 10:53 AM

                              i am no skimper on the cheese... but i can't seem to eat it as quickly as i desire to purchase it! i can't imagine trying to fit 1.1kg of one cheese into the drawer.....

                            2. re: pinstripeprincess
                              ciaociao1 RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 7, 2009 10:37 AM

                              I find the Costco piece too large for myself (husband not a huge fan).
                              I find the best price for this and many other cheese in the west end is the Cheese Outlet. It's located on North Queen in a strip plaza on SW corner of North Queen and East Mall.
                              They have some GREAT cheeses there for different price points. I like it because they will cut you decent portions so often I can get sizes that are great for a cheese tray or just to try for about $3-$6. It helps if I'm not a fan so I can abandon it without much regret.
                              So far my favourites are the smoked white cheddar and some other creamy/brie type cheeses which names I can't recall. Staff is great with suggestions too.
                              The Cheese Outlet
                              100 The East Mall, Unit 15
                              Etobicoke, ON M8Z 5X2
                              T: 416.255.5573

                              FYI they are opened Saturdays but weird hours so call first.

                              1. re: ciaociao1
                                pinstripeprincess RE: ciaociao1 Apr 7, 2009 10:55 AM

                                do they sell... coutances? it is my favourite soft cheese... it is one of my all-time favourite cheeses. it is one of the cheeses i live for.

                                if any of the other suggested cheese shops sell coutances then i think i just absolutely must visit these shops.

                                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                  Food Tourist RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 7, 2009 06:06 PM

                                  I usually buy Coutances from Pasquale.


                                  1. re: Food Tourist
                                    pinstripeprincess RE: Food Tourist Apr 8, 2009 07:23 AM

                                    that is where my introduction was ;)

                                2. re: ciaociao1
                                  HarryLloyd RE: ciaociao1 Apr 7, 2009 11:07 AM

                                  where is the brie from?


                                  1. re: ciaociao1
                                    SocksManly RE: ciaociao1 Apr 7, 2009 02:35 PM

                                    Thanks for the tip, I'll add that to my google map list. I think I know where it is.

                                    1. re: ciaociao1
                                      Food Tourist RE: ciaociao1 Apr 7, 2009 06:09 PM

                                      I second this rec. Small shop, open weird hours (which means it's closed in the evenings and Sundays and Mondays), but interesting selection of imported cheeses including a cave aged.


                                3. re: pinstripeprincess
                                  redearth RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 6, 2009 10:08 AM

                                  The parm chunks from Costco are very large, but I cut off a more manageable piece and tightly wrap the remaining chunk for later. I use a vacuum sealer, but if you don't have one, just tightly wrap the parm in plastic wrap. It should last for a long time, and you shouldn't have any problems with it drying out, if it's well wrapped.

                                  As for the amount of rind, think of the pieces at Costco like a pie wedge cut from the wheel of parm, then sliced horizontally through the middle - you get rind on the fat end of the wedge, and on the bottom.

                                  Like so:


                                  1. re: redearth
                                    Full tummy RE: redearth Apr 6, 2009 10:19 AM

                                    I, too, buy the Costco chunk and cut pieces off as I need them. It has lasted me for up to a year, even without the benefit of a vacuum sealer.

                                    1. re: redearth
                                      pinstripeprincess RE: redearth Apr 6, 2009 10:39 AM

                                      thanks, that is very helpful... that is actually a lot of rind. i think that i will likely be sticking to pasquale but will have to confirm the price to be sure.

                                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                        tochipotle RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 7, 2009 07:10 AM

                                        I actually look through what they have to offer and pick a piece with the rind only on the end. There are many available.

                                        1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                          jayt90 RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 7, 2009 07:18 AM

                                          My local Costco offers two types, Parmesan Reggiano aged 24 months for $26.50/kg, with a thick rind.
                                          And Grana Padano, aged 20 months, for $25/kg. I bought this because the rind was a lot thinner, mostly usable. I don't see any great taste difference, and I'm happier with the Grana Padano than with the many wasted heels of Reggiano I used to put up with. Both types are sold in chunks 1 to 1.5kg.

                                          I also have to recommend the place for frequent sales of Balderson 6 year old cheddar. It was $21/kg when I got it yesterday.

                                          1. re: jayt90
                                            Kagemusha RE: jayt90 Apr 7, 2009 07:34 AM

                                            Amen. Though Costco's cheese selection isn't huge, it's good quality and suggests somebody in their Montreal HQ likes to eat well. On a per-unit cost/quality basis, they're hard to beat. I usually split my chunk of Costco Reggiano with a friend or relative--a vastly better deal than the mummified shards available elsewhere.

                                4. Chester Eleganté RE: SocksManly Apr 6, 2009 10:12 AM

                                  Didn't it used be even cheaper at Costco? I would say to go to Pasquale Bros as mentioned above. At $35/kg, it's not a significant price difference, and you can get it fresh and whatever size you like. It's the same reason that I get mine from Grande Cheese, sometimes cut from the wheel (around $42/kg). The Costco chunks are huge; the quality would deteriorate before we'd get through it. I'd also avoid the pre-packaged stuff that you find at regular grocers.

                                  1. Paulustrious RE: SocksManly Apr 6, 2009 10:41 AM

                                    I have a lump here, Grand Pedano Parmeggiano from Colangelo Brothers. $26.99 per kilo. Provided you use it for grating then it freezes very well. And when I say grating, I really mean sticking it in a food processor when it is still semi frozen.

                                    Not exactly West End though.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Paulustrious
                                      childofthestorm RE: Paulustrious Apr 6, 2009 12:14 PM

                                      Also, Grano Padano is a cheaper cheese than Reggiano. It's delicious, but a grade down from Reggiano nonetheless.

                                      1. re: childofthestorm
                                        Paulustrious RE: childofthestorm Apr 7, 2009 06:34 AM

                                        I think I just suck inside the OP's parameters as he specified parmesan.

                                        And some people make a kilo last a year?? I don't think we make it through a month on that.

                                        1. re: Paulustrious
                                          Paulustrious RE: Paulustrious Apr 7, 2009 08:25 AM

                                          That should say snuck - embarrassingly badly phrased.

                                    2. g
                                      gwen64 RE: SocksManly Apr 7, 2009 11:28 AM

                                      yeah, the Cheese Boutique on south kingsway is really good. You can also try St. Lawrence Market. They have lots of different cheeses.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: gwen64
                                        SocksManly RE: gwen64 Apr 7, 2009 02:38 PM

                                        Cheese Boutique and SLM generally have no place inside any best price discussion! :)

                                      2. aser RE: SocksManly Apr 7, 2009 03:51 PM

                                        Deviating a little bit, where can I find riopelle or monte enebro in the northern end of the city?


                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: aser
                                          JamieK RE: aser Apr 7, 2009 04:18 PM

                                          You could check out your local Loblaws for Riopelle. I've seen it at more than one store in the south end.

                                          1. re: aser
                                            redearth RE: aser Apr 7, 2009 04:51 PM

                                            Your best bet is probably Provincial Fine Foods on Yonge St. between Lawrence and York Mills. They also have a full pdf of all available Canadian and European cheeses on their website - very handy!


                                          2. d
                                            dunebuggy RE: SocksManly Mar 22, 2014 04:29 PM

                                            Loblaws in Markham has it on for 1.99 per 100 this week.
                                            Unbelievable price!!! Never going to see that again.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: dunebuggy
                                              LexiFirefly RE: dunebuggy Mar 23, 2014 05:25 AM

                                              It's a special for their "world record" attempt.

                                              1. re: dunebuggy
                                                happycamper RE: dunebuggy Mar 25, 2014 08:40 PM

                                                Thanks for the heads up!!

                                                1. re: dunebuggy
                                                  mammoth RE: dunebuggy Mar 26, 2014 07:45 AM

                                                  Thanks for the tip. I just picked up a nice big chunk.

                                                2. Kagemusha RE: SocksManly Mar 23, 2014 01:29 PM


                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: Kagemusha
                                                    Mila RE: Kagemusha Mar 26, 2014 05:07 PM

                                                    $6 off at Scarborough Costco yesterday, don't know if it's still on sale.

                                                    1. re: Mila
                                                      Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Mila Mar 26, 2014 10:32 PM

                                                      I just bought a 5kg block of New Zealand Parmesan for NZ$35. It's different and more moisture, but its delicious.

                                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                        youdonut RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Mar 27, 2014 01:00 AM

                                                        "NZ$35"?? as in New Zealand dollars??? you do know this is a canadian board?? We would be lucky to get 1KG at that price in canadian dollars let alone 5KG.

                                                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                          Flexitarian RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Mar 27, 2014 07:36 AM

                                                          That's a long expensive flight to pick up NZ Parmesan on the cheap.

                                                          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                            jayt90 RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Mar 27, 2014 09:10 AM

                                                            The price shows what can happen when a controlled dairy market is freed.

                                                            1. re: jayt90
                                                              Flexitarian RE: jayt90 Mar 27, 2014 10:36 AM

                                                              And if corn production was not subsidized the general population would get healther (I think we are the risk of having these general posts deleted, btw!)

                                                              1. re: Flexitarian
                                                                The Chowhound Team RE: Flexitarian Mar 27, 2014 11:34 AM

                                                                This is getting a little far afield for a thread about where to buy cheap cheese in the west end and that's an issue that has the potential to be a pretty huge conversation. If you want to have a general discussion about controlled agricultural markets, General Topics or Food Media would be a better place to start it. You're welcome to post a link to a thread you start there here so people know to follow you over.

                                                      2. justinisthebest RE: SocksManly Mar 29, 2014 05:19 PM

                                                        I saw parm regg on sale at Starskys......best I've seen lately.

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