Wine, chocolate, and cheese are some of the most favorite foods around the world, and it takes a certain amount of knowledge to be able to speak intelligently about all of them. The best way to gain that knowledge is through tasting, determining what you like, and then learning the process for how that chocolate, wine, or cheese is made. The wonderful thing about food is that all its flavor, diversity, and richness can be traced back to the ingredients, the amounts of these ingredients, and the method by which it’s prepared. Food preparation combines both science and art. Here are a few things you should know about Italian cheese.
The Usual Suspects
Cheese is the fabric of many wonderful Italian dishes, and we are all familiar with the two most popular: Parmesan and Ricotta. We all know the Parmesan is wonderful grated over pasta dishes, pizza, or asparagus – there’s a reason it’s known as the King of Cheese. This reliable staple takes on new life when flakes are added to a zesty spinach salad, or it’s sprinkled atop baked pears. You can teach an old cheese new tricks. Ricotta isn’t just for lasagna anymore. It’s the perfect topping for a crusty bread, drizzled with olive oil and topped with chopped tomatoes or even figs.
Gorgonzola, Your New Best Friend
Gorgonzola has two varieties: soft and aged. The soft cheese resembles brie in texture but hardens and crumbles as it ages. It has a sharp flavor, full of garlic and pepper but with the creamy, lush texture of cheese. Gorgonzola is best paired with sweet fruits like pears and figs and can make a decadent dessert. It’s also a great salad cheese. Try it with some of the great Italian recipes at http://www.tuscany-cooking-class.com.
Mozzarella: Don’t Put Baby In the Corner
Mozzarella is another one of those well-known cheeses that will never diminish in popularity. Unlike most cheeses, mozzarella is best served baby-fresh, and many people don’t realize that it’s fairly easy to make. Fresh mozzarella is really the only kind to eat, and if you don’t have time to make it yourself, purchase it a grocery store in the butcher section. It should be in a round ball. Mozzarella is delicious with simple ingredients, such as basil and tomatoes for a Caprese salad, or with anchovies on a crusty bread.
Jessica is an avid writer and foodie. She is excited to taste the delicious foods while in Italy.
Photo from freedigitalphotos.net.