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Best price on Parmesan in West end?

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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. Costco

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kagemusha

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

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

      9 Replies
      1. re: Food Tourist

        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

          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

            When was the last time you went on a Saturday?

            http://www.pasqualebros.com/

            1. re: Food Tourist

              month and a half ago?

            2. re: pinstripeprincess

              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

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

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

        2. 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. 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.
            http://www.cheeseboutique.com/

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

            6 Replies
            1. re: JamieK

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

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

                  ELEVEN DOLLARS AND NINETY NINE CENTS?

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

                  1. re: SocksManly

                    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. Costco, for sure. Great Parm, great price.

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: redearth

                    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

                      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

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

                        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/din...

                        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.

                        http://www.pusateris.com/unique/black...

                        1. re: aser

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

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                            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

                              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

                              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

                                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

                                  I usually buy Coutances from Pasquale.

                                  http://www.pasqualebros.com/node/8#A_...

                                  1. re: Food Tourist

                                    that is where my introduction was ;)

                                2. re: ciaociao1

                                  where is the brie from?


                                  Chow!
                                  HL.

                                  1. re: ciaociao1

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

                                    1. re: ciaociao1

                                      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.

                                      http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/1...

                                3. re: pinstripeprincess

                                  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:

                                  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

                                  1. re: redearth

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                            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. 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. 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

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

                                      1. re: childofthestorm

                                        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

                                          That should say snuck - embarrassingly badly phrased.

                                    2. 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

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

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

                                        http://www.artisanalcheese.com/prodin...

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: aser

                                          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

                                            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!

                                            http://www.provincialfinefoods.com/

                                          2. 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

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

                                              1. re: dunebuggy

                                                Thanks for the heads up!!

                                                1. re: dunebuggy

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

                                                2. Costco.

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: Kagemusha

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

                                                    1. re: Mila

                                                      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

                                                        "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

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

                                                          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

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

                                                            1. re: jayt90

                                                              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

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