The Best Italian Cheeses

We all are well-aware of Italians unconditional love for cheese. Whether it is lasagnas, pizzas, pasta, panini or salads, cheese is always present on the table! But among the thousand different types of cheese, some of them have become staples of the Italian cuisine.

1. Mozzarella

Known for its delightful softness and incredible freshness, the mozzarella cheese has traveled the world and today, it has conquered the hearts of people all around the world. In Europe, the mozzarella cheese received a Traditional Specialities Guaranteed certification that ensures the cheese is always produced with buffalo’s milk. On the other hand, in the U.S., the mozzarella is sometimes made out of pasteurized cow’s milk. Perfectly white in color and quite moist in texture, the cheese delicious in salads, on pizzas and in a variety of other Italian dishes.

2. Parmigiano Reggiano

As its name suggests, the Parmigiano Reggiano is manufactured especially in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and Mantua. The cheese production is quite long and tedious. Indeed, while the production cycle can last a month, the cheese has to maturate for at least one year before it reaches the shelves of the supermarket. Rich in protein, vitamin and mineral, the Parmigiano Reggiano is best grated on pasta and risotto or shoved on salads. But for those who are in love with this cheese, you may eat it with any dish you wish!

3. Gorgonzola Cheese

With a highly pronounced taste, the Gorgonzola cheese has succeeded in melting the hearts of many. Easily recognized by its bluish veins, this cheese has been manufactured for centuries in Gorgonzola, Milano. It is made with whole cow milk to which is added bacteria. Once the milk starts curdling, it is then left to age for about four months at low temperatures. As a matter of fact, the longer the cheese ages, the firmer it gets and that is why there are different types of Gorgonzola. Tasty with polentas, risottos, pasta, the Gorgonzola cheese can also be enjoyed on pizzas.

4. Pecorino Romano

Made only with sheep’s milk, Pecorino is a very popular cheese in Italy. Manufactured in the regions of Sardinia, Lazio and Grosseto, Tuscany, the Pecorino cheese is one of the oldest Italian cheeses. While the soft Pecorino takes up to 20 days to mature, the hard ones may take eight months before being hard enough. This cheese being rather salty and sharp in taste, is is essentially used on pasta, in sandwiches and grated on salads.

5. Mascarpone

Sweet in taste, Mascarpone cheese is different from the other Italian cheeses. This soft cheese is made from cream that is left to coagulate, after the addition of acidic substances. Originating from the Lombardy region, the Mascarpone cheese is often used as spreads on bread, stirred in to thicken risottos. Most importantly, Mascarpone cheese is an essential ingredient for desserts, such as Tiramisus or Cheesecakes.

Even if you are not very keen on cheese, between the hundreds of cheeses that exist, surely there is one made just for you! So, go ahead and indulge in some cheesy pleasures.

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