Canestrato di Moliterno is an Italian, hard, pecorino cheese made from sheep and goat milk in the commune of Moliterno. The name comes from the Latin word “mulcternum” which means a place where animals are milked and coagulated. The PGI protection requires that the cheese be made with between 70% and 90% full ewe's milk and between 10% and 30% full goat's milk.
The cheese needs at least 60 days of ripening after which it is sold in cylindrical shapes. Depending on age of the cheese, rind colour can vary from yellow in “primitivo” (early produce) to straw-coloured in “stagionato” (aged) and extra versions. On cutting, a white or light straw yellow Canestrato slice exhibits a sweet and delicate flavour efficacy, which intensifies with aging. An aged cheese will develop an intense and spicy flavour whilst the rind colour could be almost black due to a carbon soot water, vinegar and olive oil treatment. The cheese contains a minimum of 30% fat. Due to its hard texture, it has a good reputation as a table cheese and pairs well with fresh, raw vegetables and pears. It can also be grated on pasta and soups. Wines such as Greco di Tufo, Falanghina, Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio and Aglianico make a perfect match with the cheese.
From the Italian island of Sardinia comes this raw sheep's milk cheese with black truffles. Unlike most truffled cheeses, the truffle paste is infused after Moliterno has been aged so that the cheese develops its own character before the truffles are injected. Though the truffles are only visible in the "veins," the truffle flavor permeates throughout the entire paste of this amazing cheese. During the aging process, oil and vinegar are applied to the cheese's rind to prevent weight loss. Made from raw sheep's milk.
Once cut, the dark paste oozes out of the crevices of the cheese like trickles of water from a craggy cliff. Both delicious and intriguing visually, this cheese is a show-stopper. Enjoy this pecorino with a big, earthy Italian red with enough muscle to stand up to the truffles.
Burrata, meaning "buttery" in Italian is a fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream. The outside thin shell is a pasta filata curd made of buffalo and/or cow's milk mozzarella while the insides contain a soft, doughy, stringy, mixture of curd and fresh cream. The cheese originated in the Apulia region of Italy known for sheep farming and agriculture. It is sold traditionally in asphodel leaves with a polyethylene plastic bag over it. The green colour of asphodel leaves is an indicator of the freshness of the cheese.
When you cut open a Burrata, it oozes with buttery and creamy panna containing scraps of mozzarella. The cream has a rich flavour and has to be eaten immediately since it is a fresh cheese. Burrata is usually served fresh at room temperature and beyond 48 hours, it is considered past its prime. The taste of Burrata goes well with salads, crusty bread, and prosciutto, fresh tomatoes with olive oil and with spaghetti.
Fontina is a classic Italian cheese made in the Aosta Valley since the 12th century. There are many Fontina cheeses made with alternative names such as "Fontinella", "Fontal", and "Fontella" but the Italian Fontina, Fontina Val d'Aosta, identified by a Consorzio (Consortium) stamp is the original and most famous. The other versions are much milder than the original Fontina. There is also a Danish version which can be recognized by the red wax rind. Italian Fontina has a natural rind that turns tan to orange-brown with aging.
Fontina Val d'Aosta is traditionally made from unpasteurised milk of the Valdaostan Red Spotted cows grazing on the plains of Aosta Valley. The texture and flavour of Fontina depends on how long it has been aged. The texture can vary from semi-soft to firm and the flavours from mild and rich to more robust and overpowering. Usually, fontina is aged for 90 days.
The interior of fontina is pale cream in colour and riddled with holes known as "eyes". With a fat content of 45%, the cheese is very rich and creamy which gets nuttier with aging. This versatile cheese can be used to make fondues, and similar Italian dishes. Nebbiolo, a red wine with wild cherry and truffles is a match for Fontina.
(Image to the left: Detail of a fresco from the Castello (or Maniero) of Issogne in the Val d’Aosta depicting a vendor of food and the wares on offer. The cylindrical cheeses on the right have been identified as the earliest known images of Fontina cheese.)
Montasio is a creamy, unpasteurised cow’s milk cheese originating from the Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto provinces of Italy.
Awarded (PDO) protected designation of origin in 1986, this cheese is sold fresh, middle and aged depending on the aging time of 60 days up to 1 year. It was originally a monastery cheese but today it is produced only in a specific region of Italy following age-old traditional methods.
Fresh Montasio or Montasio Fresco, aged between 60 and 120 days is soft, smooth and elastic with a mild creamy flavour. It has the characteristic “eyes” but not too many of them spread evenly throughout the cheese. The fresco variety reveals a harmonious, mild flavour heightened by the pleasant aroma.
The words 'Ricotta' means re-cooked and 'Salata' means salted. Ricotta Salata is an Italian cheese made from the whey part of sheep milk, which is pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It is milky white in colour with firm texture and salty taste. The cheese is often used in salads and ideal for slicing, crumbling and grating.
Produced in the Piedmont region of Italy, this variety of cheese is a hand-made in the manner of an artisan cheese. Made from a combination of cow and goat's milk blended with bits of black truffles, Bianco Sottobosco Cheese is aged in mountain caves for 40 to 60 days before being sold in markets. When matured, Bianco Sottobosco becomes somewhat dry in texture and with the truffle influence, quite
earthy in flavor. This cheese can be served with fruit, dark breads, and robust wines.
Pure sheep's milk fresh cheese.
The surface of the edible rind is crusted with a delicate white mould, resembling felt, which makes the fresh cheese even softer and tastier by favouring the growth of typical microflora.
The production process is quite complex because, only a correct balance between humidity and temperature during aging cn ensure uniform moulding of the rind.
This cheese is best eaten with its rind.
Be sure not to pass by this cheese! A classic Pecorino, aged for five months, is rubbed with a combination of Tuscan olive oil and ash, creating a stark black rind against the bright white paste of the sheep’s milk cheese. This traditional treatment of the rind, stemming from centuries old preservation methods, encases a mild, flexible paste that features tiny eyes. Savory with a subtle hint of fruity and floral notes, this cheese is certainly complete and flavorful all at once.
Boschetto al Tartufo is a fresh, semi-soft cheese made from a combination of a cow's and sheep's milk. It is infused with shavings of highly-prized rare white truffles that lend an earthy, luxurious and robust aroma and flavour to the cheese. The cheese is a perfect marriage of the pungent taste of the kingly fungus and delicate, sweet taste of the paste.
This Italian cheese from Tuscany is aged for less than 60 days and manufactured by the Il Forteto Cooperative in the Tuscan town of Mugello.
Cacio di Bosco al Tartufo is one of the finest Tuscan pecorino made from both sheep's and cow's milk and has tiny specks dark truffles scattered throughout its friable pate. The taste is a beautiful balance of the sweet, nutty, nearly caramelized pasteurised sheep's milk against the strong aroma of truffle. The balance of flavour is pleasant, delivering a slightly sour, truffle endowed earthy profile. It has a firm, smooth, and oily texture which makes it versatile enough to grate over pizza, pastas and risottos.
Brillo translates from the Tuscan dialect as “high-spirited” or “merry”, and merry you’ll be once you’ve tried this cheese! It is said that the practice of aging cheese in wine began as the farmer’s way of concealing his cheese from invading armies during times of war. To make Brillo, the cheesemakers at Il Forteto select 4- month aged wheels of their Pecorino Toscano and submerge them in terra cotta pots filled with local wine for an additional four weeks. The result is a semi-soft cheese with a gorgeous, purple rind, the tangy taste of sheep’s milk and a biting zing from the wine. The flavors of the cheese and the wine both balance and accentuate each other in this delightful wheel
Basil, extra-virgin olive oil and pecorino are synonymous with Italian cuisine and Il Forteto has united these flavors in Basilio. Massaged on the exterior with extra virgin olive oil to soften the rind, the basil leaves cling to the wheels, infusing them with bright, pesto-like flavors. The soft and rich, ivory-colored paste holds the slightly sharp and salty taste of a young Pecorino Toscano which is accentuated by the mild, minty sweetness of the basil. Basilio has a broad appeal, but is especially appreciated by those who prefer their pecorino with a breath of fresh Tuscan air.
A unique Pecorino cheese made in the centuries old traditions of Tuscan farmers, Bigio is an aged sheep’s milk cheese that is covered in the ash of chestnut wood, meant to accelerate the aging process. The ash provides a distinct sweetness to the cheese while preventing mold on the rind. Beneath its ashy grey rind lies a pale yellow, crumbly paste and a delicate, sweet flavor.
A truly special cheese with important traditions, Cacio di Fossa stems from a centuries old tradition of preserving food underground, when farmers in the Middle Ages would bury their food in order to evade thieves. The cheeses are made in August, and placed in sacks before being buried in the grounds near Sogliano al Rubicone. The cheeses “rise” in November, where they appear transformed, having lost their round shape. The prolonged seasoning causes a
further loss of whey and fat, increasing the digestibility. And over all, the particular fermentations have conferred a sharp taste and an unmistakable flavor.
Start with premium sheep’s milk from one of the best pecorino regions in the world—Tuscany—and put it in the hands of the best cheese makers. In a month, a cheese will appear, ready to enlighten your taste buds!
Produced in strict accordance with the regulations of the Consorzio per la Tutela del Pecorino Toscano, Forteto’s fresh Pecorino Toscano ages for a mere 30 days to lend a sweet yet pronounced taste of sheep’s milk. Each bite of the compact white paste releases a heady perfume from the Tuscan countryside and a flavor that is well-developed and balanced.
The cheese is prepared with full cream, pasteurised ewe's milk, often by farm-based cheese producers.
The cheese is ready to be eaten after a maturation period of just twenty days. However, it is generally regarded as a hard cheese, frequently used for grating, and to achieve this characteristic hard texture, the cheese should be left alone for at least four months.
The cheese usually takes the form of a semi-flattened sphere, typically with a diameter between 15 and 22 cm (5.9 and 8.7 in) and a height between 7 and 11 cm (2.8 and 4.3 in). The weight will normally be between 0.75 and 3.50 kg (1.7 and 7.7 lb). The outer rind is yellow coloured, but there is considerable variability according to how the outside of the cheese has been washed during maturation (generally with a combination involving crushed tomato, ash and/or olive oil).
Each Oro Antico Riserva is handmade by the master cheese-maker at Il Forteto by taking a select young, delicious, authentic Pecorino Toscano, burnishing it with olive oil, and aging it in a stone cellar for six months. During aging, more olive oil is applied to the rind as the cheese gets harder and tangier. Finally, each cheese is given a seal of red wax to indicate its special heritage. Oro Antico Riserva has a grainy texture due to the aging process, whereby most traces of moisture escape from within the cheese. Made from 100% ewe's milk, the flavor is delivered to the back of your tongue with delicate force, imparting overtures of wild herbs and lemongrass. Because sheep's milk contains a very high percentage of butterfat, Pecorinos are very flavorful but have a tendency to "cry" when they reach room temperature.
Made from pasteurized sheep's milk.
Photo depicts whole 4 lb. form of cheese.
We cut and wrap this item by hand.
Made with 100% Tuscan sheep’s milk and studded with whole black peppercorns, Pecorino with Black Pepper is the cheese that bites back! The oily, salty sharpness of the aged pecorino is underscored by a bold kick of pepper that results in an unbelievably balanced flavor and a lingering spicy finish. The compact, slightly granular texture is suitable for slicing or grating.
Pure sheep’s milk cheese initiates the base of this Pecorino, aged for five months, with a friable texture and slightly sweet taste. What makes the cheese unique is the addition of spicy red peppers, giving the cheese a lasting heat, beginning as a mellow flavor and slowly rising to meet the palate.
Inheriting the Italian tradition of aging and preserving cheeses under hay, the cheese makers of fine Tuscan Pecorino at Il Forteto continue this custom today. The strong and pronounced taste of Pecorino is matured for several months and infused with the grainy undertones of the hay and delicate taste of honey. The
result is a beautifully aged sheep’s milk cheese with a hint of sweetness, steeped in Italian tradition.
Cheeses can often be described as “nutty,” but this cheese truly exemplifies this of-the-earth flavor. Aged for four months, this Pecorino cheese is wrapped in leaves from walnut trees, giving it a strong, earthy and slightly bitter flavor of roasted nuts. Combined with the bright flavors of the sheep’s milk, the distinct aroma and acidulous flavor are what make this cheese unique.
Scamorza is formed into a ball, with the top of the cheese “strangled” by a cord so it can hang to ripen. This short drying process gives it its distinctive gourd or pear-like shape. Naturally smoked with beech wood, Smoked Scamorza develops a lovely thin, shiny, golden skin that adds a unique depth of aromatic flavor to this slightly savory, semi-soft, smoothly textured cheese, naturally smoked with beech wood.
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is named after the provinces in which it is made, namely Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. True Parmesan cheese has a hard, gritty texture and is fruity and nutty in taste. Cheeses mocking Parmesan or inferior Parmesan may have a bitter taste.
Grana Padano, granted DOP on 12 June 1996, is one of the few cheeses that can possibly compete with the King of Cheeses; Parmigiano-Reggiano. Created by the Cistercian monks of Chiaravalle in the 12th century, it is still made throughout the Po River Valley in northeastern Italy.
The cheese is made from unpasteurised, semi-skimmed cow’s milk from two milking and generally aged for two years. At the end of the cheese making process, Grana Padano develops a firm, thick and deeply straw-coloured rind protecting the fragrant, dry, flaking interior. Grana means “grainy” in Italian which is reflected in the fine granular texture with an intensely sweet flavour. As Grana Padano ages, the flavours become pronounced, savory and complex and the texture becomes more crumbly.
Though similar to Parmigiano Reggiano Grana Padano is inexpensive because areas producing the cheese are bigger. Moreover, Grana is less crumbly, milder and less complex than its long-aged sibling.
Grana Padano is manufactured in cylindrical wheels measuring 35 to 45 cm in diameter, and 15 to 18 cm in height. It is sold at different ripening stages: Grana Padano (9 to 16 months), Grana Padano oltre 16 mesi (over 16 months) and Grana Padano Riserva (over 20 months).
Try pairing the cheese with a Barolo, Zinfandel or Gavi white wine.
Asiago d'Allevo is a cheese produced from the milk of Pezzata Nera and Bruno Alpina cows that graze on the high summer pastures in the mountains of Veneto in northern Italy. According to DOP protection, the production of Asiago d'Allevo cheese can take place only in the provinces of Vicenza and Trento in Italy.
The flavour of the cheese varies according to its age. When it is sold as "Mezzano", at the age of four to six months, the flavour is fresh, mild and lactic. The texture is a pale, straw-coloured interior, supple and semi-soft with irregular small holes and soft, flexible rind. When ripened beyond the age of ten months it is known as "Vecchio". Some Asiago's aged for two years are called "Stravecchio". At this stage, it turns firm, grainy and dry in texture. The flavour also becomes quite intense and spicy, as it ages. A fully mature Asiago has a smooth, regular rind. The aroma is suggestive of yeast or dried fruit.
Mezzano Asiago is good for sandwiches and salads while Vecchio & Stravecchio can be grated well in salads, soups, pastas.
Asiago Pressato or Asiago Fresco is a cheese produced from fresh whole milk of the cows grazing in the low lying areas of the Asiago plateau in the mountains of Veneto in northern Italy. To make Asiago Pressato, the cheesemaker heats the milk and mixes it with rennet to form curds. They are then loosely pressed into a cheesecloth and allowed to mature for about 40 days. The main difference between Pressato and d'Allevo is the use of whole and skimmed milk and the aging process. Nearly 75% of the Asiago cheeses produced are Pressato.
Asiago Pressato is a semi-soft cheese with quiet large but irregular shaped holes. It has a thin and elastic crust with soft, buttery, white-yellowish paste. It tastes sweet, buttery, delicate and tangy and has a slightly, salty aftertaste. The taste is reminiscent of cream and fresh milk. Pressato cheese goes well with sandwiches and salads as it be easily cut, cubed, sliced or melted.
The Italian cheese 'Bra' comes from the town of Bra in Cuneo in the region of Piemonte, Italy.
Though the production of this cheese now takes place in many different areas or regions, the one that is produced within the province of Cuneo is considered to be the most authentic. It is made from cow's pasteurised or unpasteurised milk but small amounts of goat or sheep's milk can also be added while manufacturing the cheese sometimes. While the cheese has small eyes, its rind generally is off-white or beige in colour and interior ranges from pale-yellow to dark yellow-orange.
The cheese comes in three different types namely Bra tenero, bra duro and bra d’alpeggio. While Bra tenero is tender or soft version which is aged up to six months, bra duro is a hard version which is aged one to two years or longer. Bra d’alpeggio, the third type is made only from cow's milk that graze in mountain pastures from June to October.
The types that are aged for a lesser time period are mild, slightly spicy and milky. Those aged for longer period of time are full flavoured and pungent.
This is a special product born from the will to create a "unique" cheese. The processing is the result of lengthy research. After being pasteurized, are inserted in goat's milk ferments and rennet: the curd is broken to the size of a rice grain. Following the serum is separated and is given the form to cheese. The stewing is done until reaching pH 4.8. The forms can also be personalized with the name of the customer. The crust is firm, hard and brown color due to treatment with organic olive oil and tomato paste. The dough is white. The smell is very intense with a hint of acid and the classic smell of goat milk. The flavor is acidic at the beginning and determined at the end; perceptions in the mouth are rich and intense; persistent aftertaste, slightly chilly. We recommend combining it to Parrina Merlot Radaia D.O.C. You can also taste it accompanied by Parrina honey and jams. The cheese should be kept in ventilated refrigerator at 4°C. Once engraved the shape, the interior must remain in contact with a transparent plastic film to be changed every 5 days. The cheese can not be frozen or maintained at temperatures above 10° C.
Castelmagno is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) awarded Italian semi-hard, semi-fat blue cheese prepared within the administrative region of the communes of Castelmagno, Pradleves and Monterosso Grana in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont.
The cylindrical cheese is made from cow's milk with a small addition of a mixture of sheep and/or goat's milk. To guarantee the authenticity of the product, it is essential that the milk utilized come from communes protected by PDO designation. The aging takes two to five months to get the characteristic traditional flavour.
It is a dense cheese with no open holes tending towards a grainier, crumbly texture. The pate colour leans from ivory white towards ochre-yellow with presence of bluish-green veins of penicillium moulds. Covering the pate is a thin reddish-yellow rind, which turns wrinkly, and brownish-ochre as the cheese matures. The subtle taste of Castelmagno gets stronger, spicier and sharper as it ages.
Castelmagno is a very ancient cheese with origins dating back to 1277, more or less at the same time as Gorgonzola. It is named after a Roman soldier whom despite being persecuted, kept on preaching gospels and gave its name to the famous sanctuary town of Castelmagno in Grana Valley. Barolo, Reciota della Valpolicella, Chianti pair well with this cheese. It is appreciated as a table cheese and used in the preparation of typical Italian dishes such as gnocchi.
Bel Paese, meaning ‘beautiful country’ in Italian, is a semi-soft cheese from the Lombardy region. It was formulated by Egidio Galbani in 1906 who wanted to invent a product that would compete with French Alpine cheeses. The name is derived from a book by Abbot Antonio Stoppani "Il Bel Paese", published in 1873.
The cheese has a milky aroma infused with a mild buttery flavour. The taste can be compared with Mozzarella and St. Paulin. The pale yellow cheese may occasionally be riddled with “eyes”. The cheese is hard to spread but soft enough to slice. It is wrapped in a waxed, foil or plastic rind.
Bel Paese takes 6 to 8 weeks to mature and comes in several different sizes from small buttons to large 5lb wheels. An original Bel Paese can be identified by a map of Italy and a picture of Antonio Stoppani on the label of the cheese. The American version has a map of United States on the label.
The Italian cheese goes well with fruits like apples, pears and figs. As it has good melting capacity, it is often used in casseroles, hot Panini, focaccio or on a pizza. It can be eaten with fruity wines, such as dry red or white.
Testun Occelli al Barolo is an ancient Italian mountain cheese made from a mix of sheep’s and goats’ milk. This hard cheese is packed in “grape must” resulting from the production of Barolo wine, infusing the cheese with an amazing, decadent, vinous flavour.
The origin of the cheese in Italian folklore makes a great story for the dinner table. The legend says the cheese was originally produced by accident, after it was concealed in a wine barrel and then forgotten during the time when hiding food was a necessity to avoid it being stolen. When the cheese was rediscovered the intense winey flavour proved a surprising success.
Producer Beppino Occelli has been farming since 1976. He has a special relationship with the land and his animals. His story is rooted in his profound love for the land of his birth – the Langhe and the Alps – from which his creations and personal interpretations of traditional products are derived. His flocks of sheep and herds of goats freely roam the valleys of Cuneo, as far as the pastures of Castelmagno and Valgrana, reaching Valcasotto where the best wheels of great mountain cheeses are finally left to cure and ripen in the old aging cellars.
Cusie is the invention of Beppino Occelli and considered to be one of his “Grand Cheeses”. Its whimsical name translates from the local dialect as “that which there is” and refers to the fact that Cusie makes use of whatever milk in available. Though always made with cows milk, either sheep or goat is blended in and may change from batch to batch. Regardless, the cheese is bold and worthy of its place among Occelli’s esteemed cheeses. Taking advantage of the lush Piemontese meadows, Cusie is made form the milk of animals that are left free to pasture in summer. It is a hard cheese that is aged from 18 to 24 months. While delicious on its own, Occelli shows his innovation and creativity by coating the forms in whiskey-soaked barley. While adding a visual and textural appeal, the coating imparts an intense smoky sweetness making it the perfect finish to an extravagant meal.
Beautiful , long matured pure Goats milk cheese called Cravot produced high in the Appenine mountains from local Goats milk. Semi soft cheese with a soft delicate flavor. Golden and creamy in color , a real artisan produced cheese that is perfect for the cheese board
Crema di Roma is a pure sheep's milk cheese produced in the Lazio region of Italy. The name literally means the "cream of Rome" and was given this name by Guiseppe Lopez, one of the finest producers of Pecorino Romano, for its light texture and sweet flavor. It is a younger cheese than Pecorino Romano and as a result is lighter and softer on the palate, making it more suitable as a table cheese than as an ingredient for a dish. In addition to its traditional form, it also has three other varieties:
1) With Black Pepper
2) With Red Pepper
3) With Truffles
Toma Piemontese is a PDO cheese made in the Piedmont region of Italy from pasteurised cow’s milk. The aroma, flavour, pate and texture of Toma Piemontese vary depending whether it has been produced with whole fat milk, or if it is a semi-fat version with skimmed milk. In the first case, the pate is straw yellow with evenly distributed “eyes”, sweet, pleasant flavour and a delicate fragrance. The rind is elastic and smooth and appears deep straw-yellow to reddish brown based on the seasoning. If the cheese has been made from skimmed milk, it has a wrinkly and not elastic rind, straw white pate and tiny eyes and an intense flavour that varies with seasoning.
Whole fat Toma goes well with Italian dishes such as frittata, gnocchi, and risotto and pasta fillings. Whereas, semi fat Toma tastes best with bread, jam, honey, nuts and baked with potatoes, quiches and fondue. Strong red wines such as Dolcetto, Carema and Barolo go well with aged tomas while light white wines make a better paring with young tomas.
Meaning "sweet" in Italian, Gorgonzola "Dolce" DOP is a soft, blue, buttery cheese made with uncooked cow's whole milk. The cheese took its name from a small town in Lombardy near Milan, where it said to have been born in the 12th century. It has a white or pale yellow, buttery and melty paste speckled with a homogeneous distribution of blue coloured veins. The rind is compact, rough, hard and grey/pinkish in colour but not edible. Flavours are not very assertive but sweet, mild with notes of sour cream and lactic tang. It takes a minimum of 50 days ageing to let Gorgonzola demonstrate its unique characteristics. The cheese pairs well with a Tuscan Vin Santo and Champagne.
Gorgonzola Dolce DOP from Arrigoni Battista Spa recently won Super Gold at the 2014 World Cheese Awards and was also judged as one of the world’s 62 best cheeses.
Gorgonzola Dolce originates in the North of Italy in the provinces of Lombardia and Peimonte. It is originally from the mountains and hills but now made in the lowlands along the Po River valley. Yes, Gorgonzola is a real place!
Until early in the last century it was known as “strachinno verde”, a cheese made from the milk of cattle tired after their long spring and autumn treks to and from the Alpine pastures. This moister version is of a more recent history but is today about 80% of the market for all Gorgonzola cheese.
Gorgonzola Dolce has a thin fragile rind, the paste is white to pale yellow with greenish-blue veins, the texture is quite creamy -- moister than Stilton and more buttery than Roquefort. This is all the result of a higher moisture content and larger curd size. It's blue veining is subtle and feathery, with a softer, easier flavor. It is glistening and creamy making it a very easy cheese to love. What else would you expect from a cheese named "Dolce".
It is often believed that blue mold is “injected” into the cheese, but in actuality, it is the introduction of air into the cheese during the aging process that causes the blue veining to develop. Long needles are inserted into the cheeses at a specific point in the aging process, which triggers the growth of blue mold.
This cheese only needs to age for 3 months as opposed to its drier version which ages for 6 months and is much stronger and pungent.
Gorgonzola "Piccante" DOP is a soft, sharp, aged blue cheese made with full fat, pasteurised, cow's milk. The cheese took its name from a small town in Lombardy near Milan, where it said to have been born in the 12th century. It has a white or pale yellow compact, crumbly paste speckled with a homogeneous distribution of bluish-green marbling. The rind is compact, rough, hard and grey in colour and usually comes covered in a tin foil. Flavours are strong, intense and sharp with a pungent, spicy bite coming early on. It takes a minimum of 80 days ageing to let Gorgonzola demonstrate its unique characteristics. The cheese pairs well with a full bodied, aged, red wines, sweet and liqueur wines and rum.
Taleggio is a smear-ripened Italian cheese named after the caves of Val Taleggio. It’s one of the oldest soft cheeses produced in every autumn and winter. During cheese making, the acidic milk is brought to the lab, and kept on the wood shelves in the chambers as well in caves according to tradition. In order to prevent it from mold infestation, the cheese is washed with seawater once a week. The maturation takes 6 - 10 weeks forming a thin crust.
This cheese has been granted a PDO designation and contains 48% fat. The cheese has a strong smell, but its taste is relatively mild with an unusual fruity tang. To make it brighter and moderate, factories add spices, raisins, nuts and some lemons to it. When grated on salads such as radicchio and rucola, it tastes like a wonder, as well melts well. Taleggio can be served with Italian Nebbiolo wines, and also a wide range of Reds and Whites.
Bitto cheese is a Protected Designation of Origin product since 1st July 1996, and the Regulation restricts the production only for the pastures of the Bitto Valley, in the provinces of Sondrio, Bergamo and Lecco.
All the wheels of Bitto are made with cow’s milk from the Alpine-brown breed, at 1400-2400 meters high. The Regulation allows using a small amount of goat’s milk (10-20%) in order to make cheese more intense and tasteful. Manufacturers of the Consortium use only milk from goats Orobica or from Valgerola.
The production period of Bitto starts in June and lasts until half/end of September, high altitude pastures inside mountain huts and “calèc”, typical structures of those lands. “Calècs” are rudimental stone built rooms, used to lodge animals at night, and in which there are some copper cauldron to prepare cheese.
Young Bitto has a soft texture with small holes and white small spots, yellow and thin rind and a delicate and gentle scent. The color of the internal part, if it is low seasoned, is milk white or yellowish, while the taste is sweet and delicate. After 1 year of maturation, the texture becomes more hard and crumbly, the color becomes straw yellow, the taste strong and slightly spicy. After 2 years, the scent is more accentuated and the internal, hard part is ideal to be grated in flakes.
The inimitable taste of Bitto has no equals in Valtellina and in the rest of Italy, and has some affinities with other cheeses, as Casera or Fontina, despite its taste is unmistakable. The cost varies depending on the seasoning.
After buying it, you should conserve it in the fridge, wrapped into a tinfoil or a cloth.
Mascarpone is an Italian cheese from the Lombardy region, made by curdling milk cream with citric acid or acetic acid. It is a thick, double or triple cream, soft cheese with a very high fat content ranging from 60% to 75%. The resulting rich butterfat content makes the cheese an essential ingredient in Italian recipes like Tiramisu and cheesecakes.
The texture of Mascarpone ranges from smooth, creamy to buttery, depending on how it is processed during cheesemaking. The concise portrayal of Mascarpone really is just thickened cream that is on its way to becoming butter. Making the cheese is so simple that many people easily make their own Mascarpone at home.
Mascarpone is used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is added to enhance the flavour of the dish without overwhelming the original taste. The cheese tastes best with anchovies, mustard and spices, or mixed with cocoa or coffee. Tiramisu, a layered dish with espresso, brandy, chocolate and Mascarpone has brought the cheese to the forefront of Italian cooking. Another possible use of Mascarpone is to thicken puddings and dessert creams. It is also popular as a standalone dessert served with fruit or syrup.
Whether you buy Mascarpone or make it at home, it needs to be consumed within a few days or it can go bad.
Raschera is the name of an alpine hut in the municipality of Magliano Alpi in the province of Cuneo. Raschera cheese is normally square because, in the past, its shape made it easier to be stacked in the saddle-packs of the mules used to carry it down to the valley. As happens with another Piedmont cheese, Sora, the external form bears the marks of the canvas used to wring it after it has curdled. The alpine hut cheeses can be distinguished by the letter ‘a’ inserted in the ‘r’ of the brand.
Aspect and texture:compact, elastic, ivory or yellow paste with widespread, small holes
Taste:intense with traces of goat and sheep, ‘stings’ in the mouth when ripened
Serving suggestions:Red wines and beers. Grape and green tomato preserve. Wholemeal bread
Rossini Blue, from the Val Taleggio region of Italy (better known, of course, for Taleggio). This blue is wrapped in grape leaves and washed with red wine during the aging process, leading to its distinctive coat of leaves over a deep purple rind.
This is a sweet and buttery blue with a distinctive musky, fruity flavor, followed by a peppery blue finish.
A cheese made from pasteurised cow's milk. Having straw-colour inside and closed textured. After the period of six months this cheese develops light brown rind and closed consistency. The name is derived from Alta Badia Valley of Dolomite Mountains. It tastes great with red and fruity wines. It is also served in local dishes by melting it or as a table cheese.
The Lagrein wine flavored cheese is produced with the pure pasteurized mountain milk in the Alto Adige Region in northern Italy. Made according to the traditional methods handed down through generations, it is characterized by irregular cracks and cured with the Lagrein wine. The cheese has a creamy and elastic texture with a nutty flavor and accent flavors of wine and spice.
Stelvio is a cow’s milk cheese from the Stelvio Valley in the Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. This cheese has been made for hundreds of years but only recognized and called Stelvio in 1914. In the early 1900’s this cheese was only produced for local consumption but has been gaining popularity over the years. In 2003, it was recognized as a DOC cheese. The area where it is produced is also a German speaking region and so the cheese also carries the name Stilfser. The cheese is aged for approximately 60 days, developing a semi-soft texture that is elastic. It has a reddish colored rind, and ivory colored pate with an uneven scattering of holes. Its flavor is rich and buttery with an assertive aroma. This cheese can also melt well without jeopardizing its flavor or aroma.
Dolomitico is a semi-hard blue cheese prepared with pasteurized cow's milk. It is aged for a minimum of 50 days during which the wheels are washed in both barley malt and double malt beer from Italy’s Dolomite region. The beer wash gives the cheese a dark brown rind beneath which lies a dense, crumbly paste with blue veins. Flavours are intense and persistent with toasty notes. Pair it with a light beer or a stout.
Brenta is a semi-hard or hard cheese with yellow paste with occasional holes. The milk is used for this wonderful cheese is collected locally from the Italian Alps where the variety of grass is unique, imparting a particular flavor that is sweet, full-bodied and herbaceous.
The milk is used for this wonderful cheese is collected locally from the Italian Alps where the variety of grass is unique, imparting a particular flavor that is sweet, full-bodied, and herbaceous, but not overpowering or heavy, evoking the taste of fresh milk! Aged (stagionato) for a minimum of six months! Great served with either reds or white wines; Merlot, young Valpolicella, Prosecco or Pinot Grigio.
Romano is a hard cheese of Italian origin prepared predominantly with cow's milk or sheep's milk or goat's milk or mixtures of two or all of these. Made since the 1st century B.C., there are several types of Romano cheese. Determined by the type of milk used, name of Romano cheeses may be preceded by the word Vaccino (cow’s milk), Pecorino (sheep’s milk) or Caprino (goat’s milk). The most famous example of Romano cheese is Pecorino Romano, an exclusive Italian cheese with DOP designation from the Italian government.
One of the most popular Italian cheeses, Romano cheese is made from pasteurised or unpasteurised milk using animal, plant, or microbial rennet. It has a grainy texture, a hard and brittle rind and grates easily. The curing of Romano takes not less than 5 months and longer if it is planned for grating.
Every Romano cheese has its own peculiarities and shows different shades in texture, flavour and cooking uses. While Pecorino Romano, made from sheep’s milk, is sharp and quite tangy the second type of Romano cheese, Caprino Romano made from goat’s milk has an extremely sharp taste. The third variety made from cow’s milk, Vacchino Romano, is very mild in flavour.
Romano cheese works excellent as a table cheese. It can be grated over pasta, soups and salad or shaved onto cooked dishes and cream sauces. Hard cheeses like Romano best pair with fruity wines like Riesling and Prosecco.
Monteo is a semi firm cheese produced by La Casearia creamery in the Veneto region of Italy. It is made using cow's milk sourced from farms in the Veneto hills. The cheese takes its name from Montello, a hilly area in the province of Treviso, where La Casearia Carpenedo is located.
Monteo has a pale yellow paste with 'eyes' of dissimilar shapes and sizes. It smells of fresh milk with lingering notes of butter and sharp milky aftertaste. Pair it with a Sauvignon Blanc.
Piave Vecchio (or Piave Stravecchio) is an Italian cow's milk cheese named after a river by the same name. It is DOP protected and the only authentic Piave Vecchio is produced in the Dolomites area of Belluno province of Veneto. The Vecchio or matured variety of Piave is offered beyond 180 days of aging and comes with a blue label.
Piave is an Italian cow's milk cheese named after a river by the same name. It is DOP protected and the only authentic Piave is produced in the Dolomites area of Belluno province of Veneto. Also called, Parmesan's Cousin due to apparent similarities in flavour, Piave is a hard, cooked curd cheese sold at five different maturation periods. As a thumb's rule, Piave is dense in texture without any open holes.
Toma is one of the most famous Italian cheeses. Its name is derived from the process of cheese making. 'Toma' actually means 'cheese made by the farmer himself'!
It is produced primarily in Aosta Valleys and Piedmont regions of Northern Italy. Famous as the region's specialties, this soft or semi-hard cheese is made from Italian cow's milk.
Closely related to the French tome, Toma comes in variety of types. Every type is usually named after the region and the place where it is made. Toma Piemontese variety, which has PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin) under EU, comes from Piedmont legislation while Toma di Gressoney, which is recognized as ‘Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale’, comes from Gressoney Valley.
When grilled and served with melets, burgers, sauces and casseroles, the cheese tastes best. It also goes well with Peaches, honey, fruit compotes, Fig jam, Toasted nuts, Balsamic syrup, and Sautéed greens.
Mascarpone Torta is a soft cow’s milk cheese layered with pinenuts and basil pesto. Produced by adding citric acid to the cream. It is a velvety creamy cheese with a fat content of 70-75%. This pale blond coloured cheese has a soft texture and sweet taste.
Mascarpone Torta is a main ingredient of famous italian dessert such as tiramisu. It goes well with Ruster Ausbruch.
Caciotta al Tartufo is an Italian semi-soft cheese infused with black truffle shavings. It is made using a mix of pasteurised cow's and sheep's milk in the Umbria region of Italy. This exotic cheese is matured for one month during which the truffle and milk combination play a big role in developing the vibrant tangy flavour. Its paste is mild and gentle with a rind dotted with speckles of truffle. The earthy flavours of Caciotta al Tartufo make a good pairing with dry whites or sharp and strong wines such as Merlot.
Piave Vecchio (or Piave Stravecchio) is an Italian cow's milk cheese named after a river by the same name. It is DOP protected and the only authentic Piave Vecchio is produced in the Dolomites area of Belluno province of Veneto. The Vecchio or matured variety of Piave is offered beyond 180 days of aging and comes with a blue label. It is a flaky hard, grainy cheese with a dense texture and no holes. The flavour is intense sweet with a tropical fruity flavour underlined by an almondy bitterness. The hard pate of the cheese is light golden in colour while the rind is smooth, even, intense ochre colour. All Piave’s are aged in temperature and humidity controlled cellars where they are regularly turned, brushed and scraped. Piave Vecchio tastes great when grated on salads or eaten right off the wheel.
Trugole is a cow’s, milk semi-soft cheese from the Piedmont region in Italy. Its most closely resembles Asiago Fresco in texture, appearance, and flavor. The milk sourced comes from cows that graze in the foothills of the Alps where the foliage is rich. The name “Trugole” comes from the name of a particular pasture that these cows graze on. Every day, for sixty days, the cheeses are turned and rubbed with water and salt to retain its soft and elastic interior. The pate is straw colored with small, scattered eye formation and the flavor is mild, glassy, and slightly tangy.
This small blue-veined cow’s milk cheese with a piquant flavor has been aged for about 90 days and lthen cured 3 more months in Passito grape must. A unique product by the creative genius of CasArrigoni.
It upholds the finest Lombardy dairy traditions and contains the fragrance and flavors of dried grape skins/must. This small blue-veined cow’s milk cheese with a piquant flavor has been aged for about 90 days and lthen cured 3 more months in Passito grape must. Its piquantness is softened by a mild and pleasant taste, is enhanced with hints of apricot and almonds, a bold combination that gives the product the balanced flavors and fragrances that make it unique. The cheese has a moist rind & a straw-yellow paste with green veins moistened with drops of Passito wine that have infiltrated during the aging process. Superb when enjoyed with chestnut honey, sour orange or fig preserves!