If you are already a cheese lover, then you will be glad to know that Italians alone have created more than 400 different types. However, we believe you should take a closer look at these 5 Italian cheeses especially if you have never tried them.
If you are a cheese enthusiast, then you have surely eaten mozzarella di bufala, and chances are, you loved it! If you have never tried it, then you should because this is a true gift from the heavens. The traditional mozzarella is rich and creamy, and it is made using fresh buffalo milk commonly from the Campania regions of Italy. It is a staple for some Italian meals like pasta and pizza but can also be eaten on its own.
Pecora means sheep in Italian. Pecorino is, therefore, a class of cheeses made from sheep’s milk. A few examples are; pecorino sardo, pecorino romano, pecorino toscano and pecorino siciliano. The texture of pecorino mainly depends on its age, with the older-aged cheeses being hard and crumbly, and the younger ones being soft and creamy. If you have travelled to Italy, you might have noticed that it is common practice for Italians to finish a meal with cheese which, in most cases (especially in Rome), will be pecorino. It is also used for some pasta dishes.
Although born in the southern part of Italy, Provolone is a semi-soft cheese which is mostly made across northern Italy these days. Provolone is made using cow milk, and it has two main types- the picante, which has a sharp, salty taste and the dolce which is sweet. You will quickly notice it from its large size when getting into an Italian deli.
Ricotta literally means recooked. It is one of the most versatile types of Italian cheeses as it is made from sheep, cow, goat or buffalo’s milk. It was originally made by recooking leftover milk from the production of other cheeses. Ricotta is soft and mild in taste, and it is commonly eaten with salads, lasagna, manicotti etc.
Italians have been enjoying this cheese for more than a thousand years and it has an important place in northern Italy’s culinary history. Its texture mainly depends on the ageing process, with the fresh form (Asiago Pressato) being the smoothest and sweetest, and the oldest version (Asiago d’allevo) being crumbly. Even though its flavour intensifies with time, it does not really become too sharp. Asiago is commonly eaten with pasta and salads.
There are so many dishes that won’t be the same without these Italian cheeses. If you haven’t tried them yet and you are ready for your next culinary adventure, then you should start with them. Gastronomica is here to make that adventure a pleasant one. Get in touch with us for more information.