Hundreds flocked to the streets of Concord on December 5th to watch a giant wheel of cheese arrive in town. Every year since 2009, the Concord Cheese Shop on Walden Street has showcased a monstrous wheel of Crucolo cheese, shipped overseas from its producer in Scurelle, Italy. A mild, buttery, Asiago-like cheese, Crucolo is versatile and can be part of a cheese board or melted in a pasta dish.
In years past, the parade has boasted a 400-pound wheel of cheese, certainly more than enough to satiate hundreds of hungry spectators. To honor the 10th anniversary of the event, the shop’s owner, Peter Lovis, had much bigger plans: to feature a 1000-pound wheel of Crucolo, perhaps one of the largest to ever be imported to the United States.
The parade kicked off late that afternoon, and the large wheel of cheese was pulled by a horse-drawn float through Concord center, flanked by a brass band and reenactment soldiers clad in colonial uniform. As the float made its way onto Walden Street, the Cheese Shop team cheerfully distributed colorful balloons and Italian flags to the crowd. After Lovis and Concord’s town crier, Steven Ng, delivered a dramatic proclamation, the cutting of the cheese commenced.
The wheel was situated on a stage, and the Cheese Shop team quickly sliced it into cubes to be put on sampling platters and distributed to the eager parade-goers. A delicious aroma filled the street, amplified by brass music and the excited buzz of the crowd. People of all ages gathered around the stage: parents, children, and even cohorts of Concord Academy students, all anxiously awaiting a sample of the renowned Crucolo.
“It’s soft, but it’s got a great tang to it,” a spectator said. Before long after the first platters circulated, people were already clamoring for seconds. A section of the wheel was situated on a table by the shop’s entrance, and parade-goers posed for pictures with it.
While the Concord Cheese Shop is unsure how it will top the celebration next year, as the event featured the largest wheel of cheese that the Italian producer makes, they are confident that the parade in 2020 will be a success.