World of Cheese: Italian
Italian cheeses are diverse, versatile, and widely used in American cuisine. Virtually a requirement in pasta dishes, they also work wonders in sandwiches, salads, fondues, and desserts.
- Asiago is a cow's milk cheese with a sharp taste (more than six months of aging) or milder taste (two months of aging). Use in sauces, dips, salads, and cheeseburgers. Browse recipes.
- Fontina has been made since the twelfth century. Young Fontina has a soft, creamy texture and a mild taste, while a more mature Fontina has a sharp flavor. It's a popular fondue cheese because it melts easily. Browse recipes.
- Gorgonzola is a blue-veined cheese made from unskimmed milk from cows or goats. It has a salty bite that makes salads sparkle and pasta dishes taste richer. Browse recipes.
- Mascarpone, made from cow’s milk, is very rich: double or triple cream (60-75% milk fat). Cream-colored with a pudding-like consistency, it’s used in pasta sauces and desserts like tiramisu, and our own Saint André Brie with brown sugar and mascarpone icing.
- Mozzarella is typically made from buffalo milk, but can be made from cow's milk. It’s a mild-tasting, creamy cheese that complements fresh tomatoes and basil in a salad. Browse recipes.
- Parmigiano Reggiano is commonly called "Parmesan cheese" in America. It’s a hard, rich, salty, and grainy cheese that adds rich, full-bodied flavor when grated into soups, salads, and pasta dishes to. Browse recipes.
- Provolone is a creamy, yellow cow’s milk cheese that’s often smoked. It’s great on sandwiches and in pasta dishes like lasagna. Browse recipes.
Parmigiano Reggiano: The King of Italian Cheeses
No other cheese in the world can imitate the taste of real Parmigiano Reggiano. The extra-long aging process produces enzymes that naturally enhance the other flavors in any dish.
- Parmigiano Reggiano is a naturally lactose-free food and an excellent source of calcium and protein.
- Try it freshly chunked with a dried date, fig, a drizzle of honey, or really good balsamic vinegar.
- Because of its hard, gritty texture, use a sharp knife to break off a chunk of cheese rather than slicing straight through it.
- To grate the cheese, break off a sliver and bring it to room temperature. Use a coarse grater for pasta and salads and a fine grater for soups.
- For a touch of elegance, use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese over plated pasta.
- Don’t grate Parmigiano Reggiano before serving, as the cheese will lose some of its flavor.