I lived in Wisconsin, so I am a cheese head. I like Swiss cheese and extra sharp cheddar cheese, but nothing says cheese to me like the Italian cheeses. Since I can only cover 5 cheeses in this post, I want to give an honorable mention to Parmesan cheese. People like cheese so much that they write songs about it like that one by the Police, “Walked out to the market, don’t believe what I saw, a hundred million bottles, filled with mozzarella and more.” My favorite one is Stella Bleu Cheese by the Grateful Dead with the lyrics, “All the cheese combines, it melts into a cream, a delicious spreading falls from a jar”.
Asiago is a pungent, semi-firm to hard cheese that comes in different varieties dependent on how long it is aged. Mezzano (4-6 months), Vecchio (10 months and over) and Stravecchio (15 months and over). It is produced on the Asiago plateau, which is in Northern Italy.
Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty Italian cheese, that is crumbly in texture, so it is often used for grating, and it is made with sheep’s milk. Pecorino is a term used to define Italian cheeses made from 100% sheep’s milk. Pecorino Romano delivers pungent flavors of soft spices and seared butter that burst with charm.
Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese made from sheep, cow, goat, or Italian water buffalo milk whey left over from the production of other cheeses. When you make cheese, you separate milk into two distinct things. You have the solids, called curds, which will be separated out and pressed to form cheese. And you have the liquid that is left behind, called whey. Today, at least in the States, we tend to make ricotta from whole milk instead of whey. Ricotta cheese isn’t aged at all, it’s light and moist and tasting it is like biting into glorious, fluffy clouds of cheese and without it, you couldn’t make lasagna.
Mozzarella cheese is a sliceable curd cheese originating in Italy. Legend has it that mozzarella was first made when cheese curds accidently fell into a pail of hot water in a cheese factory near Naples, and soon thereafter the first pizza was made! The cheese should taste fresh and be reminiscent of milk and yet be mild and delicate. Some say it is bland, yet there is flavor and a hint of sourness.
Piave Vecchio is a cheese to die for and seriously if you have never tried this cheese, then you must put it on your bucket list. Piave Vecchio is aged for at least 6 months to generate a wonderfully strong, fruity flavor without sharpness. The cheese is produced primarily from indigenous Italian cattle breeds, cows that roam the Italian Alps pastures in the warmer months, grazing on the natural grassy meadows.
Written for Dr. Tanya of Salted Caramel 5 Things challenge.