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 Val D'Aosta
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
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
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.
Cacio Di Fossa
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.
Toscano 30 Day D.O.P.
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.
Toscano 3 Month D.O.P.
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).
Toscano "Ora Antico" D.O.P.
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.
Black Pepper Toscano
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.
Red Pepper Toscano
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.
Affienato In Hay
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.
Sotto Il Noce
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.
Scomorzo Affumicato (Smoked)
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.
Reggiano Parmigiano D.O.P.
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 D.O.P.
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 D.O.P.
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 D.O.P.
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.
Bra Duro D.O.P.
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.
Capra Stagionato (Goat)
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.