There are many Italian cheeses that you can treat yourself to, and often the enjoyment is increased by choosing the right side serve for your cheese. With soft cheeses, aged cheese and everything right down to the simple ricotta or mozzarella, Italy has much to offer. But if you experiment with other traditional Italian products like marmalade, jams and other sweet or savoury accompaniments, you will find yourself in a real cheese paradise.
For example, with the asiago cheese from Trentino, you could try a “radicchio” or chicory condiment, where the bitter taste of the vegetable works well with the slightly mature cheese. A soft cheese, but with a strong taste, like “caciotta” blends nicely with a forest fruit or strawberry and raspberry jam, with its slightly sour taste.
A classic marriage of Italian cheese and condiment is a vintage pecorino with fig jam. Its perfume and sweetness blends nicely, and the fig accompaniment can be used for harder cheeses like parmigiano reggiano (parmesan) or grana padano.
Photo | Flickr
It’s difficult to tell whether we’re in economic crisis or not around these parts, as shares bounce up and down and consumers are still spending. One Italian product in crisis though, is the famous cheese Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano. Cooperatives for the protection of these cheeses have already applied to Italy’s agricultural minister Luca Zaia for a solution to the problem.
Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano are extremely important in Italy’s agricultural partimony and enogastronomic tradition. They are among the products at the forefront of Italy’s DOP system of protecting its traditional food products. The strategy to address the Parmigiano Reggiano crisis includes the government purchasing a large amount of the product to give in donation to the poor and discussions regarding the appreciation and protection of Italy’s DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) products overseas.
Whatever happens, Italy’s poor could find themselves with wonderful, exquisite examples of Italy’s premier cheese, all in the name of helping out the producers. Enlightened economics or not?
Photo | Flickr
Pasta without cheese is like the cake without icing. Seriously - the Italians have a proverb that goes “come il cacio sui maccheroni” (like cheese on maccheroni) which is when you’ve reached the point of sublime perfection. There are various cheeses you can use on pasta, such as grana padano, pecorino or cacio (this also is a sheep or goat cheese). But whatever pasta you choose to make and whatever you throw in, without the cheese it’s just not pasta.
But overseas there are some experiments you can do, things that Italians would never ever permit, and one of them is using ketchup. No we’re not kidding, it has been done and here is a recipe from ketchupketchup.splinder.com on penne, ketchup and pecorino. So how do you start? Well first of all, you need your home-made ketchup, using fresh tomatoes.
If all the boiling, chopping, seed-removing, season adding and jar sterilising is too difficult, just pop down to your local supermarket and buy a bottle of the stuff - you favourite brand will do. Now you’re ready for your pasta and ketchup and, of course, your pecorino cheese. This might be a scandalous recipe for the Italians but if you love ketchup, then it couldn’t be easier. You basically boil your pasta and after draining it, throw it in with some ketchup and pecorino. That’s it! Maybe a little Americanised but there you go, ketchup on your pasta (with cheese!).
Photo | Flickr
Via | ketchupketchup.splinder