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400-pound Wheel of Cheese Parades into Concord (Video)

The big cheese returns to town for the fourth annual Crucolo Day.

Cheese Shop proprietor Peter Lovis holding a wedge of Crucolo during the fourth annual Crucolo Day, held Dec. 5 in Concord. Photo by Patrick Ball
Cheese Shop proprietor Peter Lovis holding a wedge of Crucolo during the fourth annual Crucolo Day, held Dec. 5 in Concord. Photo by Patrick Ball
Cheese-lovers packed the streets of Concord Center on Thursday afternoon in celebration of the fourth-annual Crucolo Day. 

A tradition started by Peter Lovis, proprietor of The Cheese Shop, the outsized extravaganza features a 400-pound wheel of formaggio Crucolo parading through town on a horse-drawn carriage, escorted by Italian dancers and accompanied by members of the Purin family, who've made Crucolo for the past 250 years. 

A crowd of hundreds--thousands, maybe--lined Walden Street waving the Flag of Italy. Singing and dancing ensued as the parade progressed down the roadway in one direction and motorists moved in the other. 

Following the parade, proclamations were read and rose petals strewn about. The wheel of Crucolo carefully rolled from cart to platform. And then it was time to cut the cheese. 

As wire sliced through wheel--which was roughly as wide as a 3-year-old child is tall, by the way--the aroma of Crucolo wafted through the winter air. Mouths watered, cameras flashed and the gourmands among the crowd explained to no one in particular how this single-producer artisanal cheese starts a little like Swiss but finishes with a distinctive tang. 

While a good seven-eights of the cheese was cut, stacked and positioned for photo-op, a hefty wedge of of was sliced and diced for a sampling in the street. Lovis and cheesemonger Brie Hurd cut the Crucolo into bite-sized bits as other members of the Cheese Shop staff carried cheeseboards through the crowd. 

"What's better than a cheese parade," Lovis asked, rhetorically, as the event wound down. 

The fourth annual Crucolo Day was bigger and better than its predecessors, according to Lovis, who hopes to one-up himself again next year. "Go big or go home," he said. 

As for the big cheese, Lovis said he expects what's left of the 400-pound wheel of Crucolo to be sold out by this Saturday afternoon. 

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