Italy is well-known for its delicious production of food. One of its best-known products is cheese. There is a huge variety of this delicious food produced in this country and each region has its own specialties. Here are some of the top Italian cheeses to try.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan)
This is one of the most popular and commonly used of the Italian cheeses and it is often offered to diners in Italian restaurants as a garnish for their meals. It is made using cow’s milk and is aged for two years. It has a strong, nutty, salty and piquant flavor. It tastes fantastic on its own and is often used to add flavor to pasta dishes.
Made from the milk of water buffalo, this cheese originates from the areas south and west of Naples. It is not aged at all and is best eaten the day it is made or as soon as possible after. It is a spun cheese that is usually made by hand and is popularly served in salads or on pizzas. Mozzarella has a soft texture and a sweet and creamy flavor.
Gorgonzola originates from the Lombardy region and is made from cow’s milk. There are two different varieties of this cheese. The first is a soft and mellow cheese with a slightly sweet flavor. The second has a more intense flavor because it is aged for over a year. The cattle that produce this milk stop to graze in Gorgonzola and the blue penicillin grows naturally when the cheese is stored in damp caves.
4. Pecorino Toscano
This is a sheep’s milk that is made in the Tuscany region of Italy. This is quite an oily cheese due to the high percentage of butterfat in sheep’s milk. The flavor depends on how long the cheese is aged for and this varies. In general, the longer it is aged for the greater the depth of flavor.
5. Fontina D’Aosta
This cheese is unlike some of the other Italian cheeses as it is not specific to one region. In fact, it is made in Parma, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Mantova, and Bologna. Made from cow’s milk and aged for a minimum of three months, many people compare the flavor and consistency of this cheese to gruyere. It is made only from the milk of the Valdostana cows from Valle d’Aosta in the Italian Alps.
Taleggio is made in the Lombardy region from cow’s milk and is aged for approximately six weeks. It has a really strong odor and is an oozing soft cheese. The flavor is described as nutty, beefy, salty and tart. It is fantastic smeared on fresh bread or polenta.
Which cheese is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
- Main Image: Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Italy [Pixabay]
- Images 1, 2, 5: Parmigiano, Mozzarella, Fontina [Pixabay]
- Image 3: Gorgonzola [Flikr]
- Images 4, 6: Pecorino Toscano, Taleggio [Wikimedia]