The Very Best Italian Cheeses – From Gorgonzola to Parmesan
For a very long time, Italy has always occupied a place of pride in the ancient European culture due to various reasons and one of them is the Italian cheeses.
Although Italy has never really ranked among the best dairy industries in the world, the country’s Italian cheeses have always enjoyed a high status in the world in terms of quality and variety.
Italian cheeses have been a part of the rich cultural heritage of the nation when they were relished by the famous Julius Caesar, devoured by the invincible Roman armies and served as important constituents of many of the traditional dishes.
The most popular culinary delights which are associated with Italy are the pizzas and the lasagna preparations both of which make use of the legendary mozzarella cheese. This cheese is white in color since it is a product of buffalo’s milk and its soft and chewy texture is one of the main reasons for the immense popularity of the dishes in which it is used.
The region of Lombardy in Italy boasts of having given the world its only blue cheese named gorgonzola in form of two main varieties namely gorgonzola mountain and gorgonzola dolce. While the former serves as an accompaniment for white wines, soups and stews due to its sharp flavor, the latter is served with fruits and desserts because it is comparatively sweeter. The special feature of this cheese is that it is mild when it is young and becomes progressively sharper in taste as it becomes older.
Mascarpone is a rich, creamy and mild-flavored Italian cheese which is often used as a replacement for whipped cream in many dessert preparations likes cake, rolls and pastries not only in Italy but throughout the world.
Grated parmesan cheese or sliced parmesan cheese is a well known delicacy all over the world and it happens to be a full flavored Italian cheese which has been matured for two-three years. This cheese is distinguished from others due to its hard rind and cheese gourmets claim that it tastes best when it is absolutely fresh.
The Scamorza is distinct among all the Italian cheeses because of its shape which it acquires during its maturation. This cheese is prepared by hanging the fresh and unpasteurized cow’s milk by a string and it is usually served with fruits.
The Pecorino is the only one among the Italian cheeses which is prepared from ewe’s milk and therefore salty to taste. This cheese comes in a number of varieties namely the Pecorino Romano, the Pecorino Toscano, the Pecorino Sardo and the Pecorino Siciliano and it is served as an accompaniment with desserts after having gained maturity.
Italian cheeses have been an inevitable part of the country’s tradition and one particular variety which surpasses others in this regard is the Grana Padano. The main characteristics of this cheese are that it is prepared from unpasteurized milk, is pale yellow in color, is surrounded by a thick natural rind which is smooth as well as hard to touch and tastes like a pineapple.