That's Amore - Part 2
Part 2 of Jeffree's series on Italian Cheeses
By Jeffree Wyn Itrich, Queso Diego Member since 2012
Monte Veronese: This semi-hard, cow’s milk cheese hails from the mountains north of Verona. Hmmmm, do you think Romeo and Juliet dined on this cheese? It’s white to pale yellow in color with tiny holes dispersed throughout.
Mozzarella di Bufala: A fresh drawn-curd cheese made from water buffalo milk, this legendary cheese exhibits a rich, slightly sour flavor with a somewhat grassy aroma.
Parmigiano Reggiano: A hard, crumbly cheese made from raw cow's milk it’s usually aged 18 - 24 months. Sweet and fruity with a hard, dark yellow rind, this famous cheese is named for the areas of its production in the Italian provinces of Parma, and Reggio Emilia. Many cheeses that try to imitate Parmigiano Reggiano are typically called "Parmesan", or may also be called "hard Italian cheese type".
Pecorino Toscano: This hard sheep's milk cheese calls Tuscany home. Mild with hints of lemon when fresh, it develops more bravado and a honey aftertaste when aged. Pecorino Toscano's name is derived from the word pecora, meaning "sheep" in Italian and Toscana, meaning "of Tuscany". Fresh Pecorino Toscano matures for only 30 days and up to a year when sold as an aged cheese.
Pecorino Romano: Pecorino Romano is a hard cheese made from 100% sheep's milk. Originating in ancient Roman times, this crumbly cheese is saltier than other hard grating cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano. Pecorino Romano's sharpness depends on its maturity, getting bolder with age. Pecorino Romano Genuino is the name used when this cheese is made in Lazio, its original zone of production. However, most Pecorino Romano today is produced on the island of Sardinia.
Piave: A newcomer to the Italian cheese scene is a straw-yellow cheese made from cow's milk in the Piave River Valley of Veneto in northern Italy. Its milk comes from two daily milkings, one of which is partially skimmed for cream. Medium-aged Piave, called Piave Mezzano, ages for six months and has a buttery-sweet flavor with notes of hazelnut. Piave Vecchio, ages for one year and is still sweet, but has an added sharpness and exaggerated flavor.
Provolone: Originally produced in southern Italy, Provolone is considered Italy's national cheese. Now made in the northern Piedmont and Lombardy regions of Italy, Provolone is a member of the same family of cheeses as mozzarella, called stretched curd cheeses. In its manufacture, the curd is stretched, and then molded into the shape of a pear, ball or cylinder. Producers hang and cave-age the cheese for 3-12 months to allow it to develop its rind and zesty character.
Ricotta: Ricotta, meaning "recooked" in Italian, is a fresh, soft, spreadable cheese made from the second pressing of the whey. Creamy, mild and sweet, Ricotta is similar to cottage cheese, but lighter with more flavor. Ricotta Salata is the result of pressing and aging fresh Ricotta. It’s pure white in color, rindless, and exhibits a chalky, milky flavor.
Taleggio: A member of the Stracchino family of cheeses, Taleggio is a soft, pungent cow's milk cheese produced in the Bergamo province of Italy. Buttery in texture with a fruity, slightly salty flavor, it is notable for its wrinkled, inedible rind.