is developed from the cultured and fermented solids that result
from the first step in the cheese making process: the separation of the
curd (clumps of solidified milk protein also known as farmer’s cheese) from
warm liquid whey using an acidifier such as rennet, citric acid or yogurt.
Mozzarella di Bufala: Made with
rich Italian buffalo milk from Campania instead of domestic cow’s milk,
mozzarella di bufala has twice the fat content as its conventional counterpart
and packs in twice the flavor. About twice as expensive as regular mozzarella,
bufala’s sweeter, milkier nuances and fluffy, buttery texture are
widely prized and famously used alongside important Italian San Marzano
tomatoes and fresh basil for authentic pizza Napoletana and heirloom
caprese salads, and serve as a natural pairing for ripe fruit. Mozzarella made
in this style but from the freshest, highest-quality cow’s milk is known as
fior di latte. Both should be consumed as soon as possible after making.
succulent treat is essentially a mozzarella shell encasing “cream of
mozzarella,” or a mixture of the soft scraps from mozzarella-making
process soaked in
cream and boasting a butterfat percentage that will
at once thrill and intimidate you. With a name like burrata — literally
translated as “buttered” — you’ll need at least one partner to finish a
standard eight- to ten-ounce portion. Break the outer shell and watch the
creamy center creep out, then scoop up with a piece of crusty Italian bread and
drizzle with olive oil (just forget the fat content at this point) or let the
goodness cascade over ripe tomatoes, roasted beets, stone fruit or grilled
squash. Serving sweet potatoes during the holidays? Turn your back on
marshmallows forever and usher in a glorious era of burrata. Once broken open,
burrata doesn’t stay fresh, so make sure you finish it all. Good news: You
won’t have any trouble there.
Caciotta: Describes a wide range of simple, rural cheeses from central
Italy that can be made with either ewe's, cow's, goat's, or buffalo's milk. The
cheese is aged for a brief period.Beneath the soft, yellow rind is a white or
yellowish body which has a soft texture and mild flavour. Both artisanal and
industrial produces of Caciotta are available.
a cow's milk cheese, produced only on the Asiago plateau in the Veneto
foothills in Italy. The cheese-making tradition in the provinces
of Vicenza and Trento dates back to more than thousand years.
Traditionally, it was made from sheep's milk but today it is produced from
unpasteurised cow's milk.
Texture wise, Asiago goes through many changes, assuming
different textures, according to its aging. There are two types of Asiago -
fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) has a smooth texture while the aged Asiago
(Asiago d'allevo) has a crumbly texture. Asiago d’allevo is matured for
different time periods; Mezzano for 4-6 months, Vecchio for more than ten
months and Stravecchio for two years. On the other hand, Asiago Pressato made
with whole milk is matured for a month and sold fresh as a softer, milder
Depending on age, the rinds of Asiago can be straw coloured and
elastic to brownish gray and hard. The paste can be white to dark yellow, with
small to medium irregular holes. Based on the aging, Asiago can be used for
grating, melting, slicing on a variety of salads, sandwiches, soups, pastas,
one of the world's oldest blue-veined cheeses. The Cheese is mainly produced in
the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, Gorgonzola. Unskimmed
cow's milk is used while preparing the cheese. Generally it takes three to four
months to attain full
This cheese has crumbly and soft texture with nutty aroma. It
can have a mild to sharp taste depending on its age. Gorgonzola Dolce (also
called Sweet Gorgonzola) and Gorgonzola Piccante (also called Gorgonzola
Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna, or Mountain Gorgonzola) are its two varieties,
which vary in their age.
Gorgonzola can be consumed in many ways. It is served with wines
like Bordeaux Blend (Red), Zinfandel and Sauternes.
8 Differences between Parmiggiano
and Grana Padano
Grana Padano is made over a much
larger area – partly because of this the price tends to be
lower. About 4,800,000 wheels of Grana
Padano are produced each year (compared to about
3,400,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano), making this Italy’s most
The cows are grazing on different pastures, different soil. This translates into the
cheeses to produce slightly different tastes. The flavor also changes according
to the age of the cheese and the time of year in which the cheese is made.
Parmigiano-Reggiano cows must only
feed off grass and cereals grown in the area – they are not
given silage (a fermented, high-moisture fodder).
The cows providing the milk for Parmigiano Reggiano must be
milked twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening – and the milk
is not allowed to reach a temperature less than 18°C. The milk for Parmigiano-Reggiano must
be delivered to the dairy within two hours of the completion of milking.
Ensuring that the temperature of the milk does not fall below 18°C is important
for the mesophilic lactic bacteria which is responsible for the ripening of the
cheese. The cows providing milk for Grana Padano production are also milked
twice a day, but the milk only needs to arrive at the cheesery 24 hours after
milking and therefore it has to be cooled (although not below 8°C).
Preservatives are not allowed in the
production of Parmigiano-Reggiano, whereas in the
production of Grana Padano they are allowed – the preservative usually used is
Grana Padano (made entirely from
partially skimmed milk) has a lower fat content than
Parmigiano-Reggiano (made from a mix of whole and skimmed milk).
Grana Padano, therefore, matures
more quickly. It’s made to three stages of maturity:
9-16 months – when it has a delicate, milky taste and a soft
texture, it hasn’t yet developed the graininess for which it’s knownb) 1
6-20 months – at this stage the cheese tastes of ‘an aroma of
hay and dried fruit’. It has developed the grainy texture but the crystals are
still not much in evidencec)
20-24 months – the cheese now has a rich buttery flavour and
crystals are also there. Parmigiano Reggiano on the other hand takes a minimum
of 12 months to mature, and the older varieties take up to 36 months. Any
cheese older than two years is known as ‘Stravecchio’. This is another reason
why Parmigiano Reggiano is more expensive than Grana Padano. It also results in
cash flow problems for the 350 or so Parmigiano Reggiano producers, so
sometimes they leave their cheese with their bankers as collateral – the banks
have special vaults for storing the cheese.
8. Obviously there are flavor
variations within the individual types of cheese so comparing them directly is
not straightforward. The fresh and rainy climate of the high-altitude pastures
produces a softer, cleaner flavored cheese than that produced in the valleys.
But overall the consensus seems to be that Parmigiano Reggiano has a stronger, more complex, perhaps nuttier and
saltier taste – while Grana Padano has a softer, subtler
taste. For this reason Grana Padano is more usually used in cooking, while
Parmesan is more often grated on top of a dish…. and eaten in chunks with