Made in the region of Vicenza and Trento, this is a traditional, farmhouse cheese that is creamy, unpasteurized and hard. Originally made of ewe's milk, it is now made entirely of cow's milk. As we have covered in a previous feature of this cheese, there are two types of Asiago: A lightly pressed cheese made from whole milk, matured for 20-30 days and a second aged cheese made with skim milk. Long and slow maturation process creates fruity, slightly sharp cheese with a compact, granular interior full of small holes. Matured over 2 years, it becomes intensely flavored.
From the Lombardy region of Italy, this is a modern, creamy, semi soft cheese and has a light, milky aroma. It is matured for 6-8 weeks. The pure Italian cheese is identified by its wrapping, which feature an image of a priest and the map of Italy. In the U.S. licensed versions show a map of the Americas. The name means "beautiful land" and was inspired by the title of a book by Stoppani. Bel Paese is very similar to French St. Paulin. It can also be used instead of mozzarella.
This is a fresh mozzarella that comes in various sizes, packed in either water or brine. Other fresh mozzarella, such as Fiore di Latte Trecce, etc. are Bocconcini in different shapes.
Traditional, unpasteurized, hard cheese which has a round shape. The cheese is named after the place where it was originally sold. There exist two types of Bra. The traditional, hard version that ripens for three to six months. The color darkens and the flavor intensifies. The other type is sold young, at 45 days, when the paste is still soft. This version is made from pasteurized milk. Bra is used as a table cheese, but also for grating and melting.
Casciotta di Urbino
Il Boschetto al Tartufo
Sottocenere al Tartufo
While this list is extensive, believe it or not, it is not a complete list of all the cheeses that come from Italy. I hope that you have a greater understanding now of how very much the Italians love their fromage. Take it upon yourself to explore the varying tastes and textures of all that Italy's regions and the cheeses that they produce have to offer. You'll be glad you did.
Buon Appetito, ciao!