Four Italian Cheeses You Need to Try

1
335
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

The Angry Chef teases me that if our house were on fire, I’d grab three things: My iPhone, my Totoro, and the cheese bin from the fridge.

He’s wrong.

I’d also grab the dogs. Silly Angry Chef.

That said, he’s also right.

I have a life-long love of cheese that borders on ridiculous.

As much as I love cheese, trying new kinds can be an expensive and dicey proposition. If you don’t like what you bought, you’re kind of stuck with it. 

Thankfully, any cheese shop worth its salt will give you a little taste before you buy.

Take our favorite cheese shop, Formaggio Kitchen.

If you’re ever in Cambridge, MA, definitely stop in.

The place has earned cult status in the area—with good reason.

The cheesemongers there know their stuff, and they carry a mind-boggling array of cheese (as well as other gourmet nibbles, sausages, spices, and wine…).

Plus, they age their own cheese in their very own on-site cave.

How cool is that? (Dear Mr. Formaggio: Can we move in?)

Formaggio Kitchen also has another shop over in the South End. 

Four great Italian cheeses to try

This is our third cheese tasting post.

Check out our first two for more cheese inspiration. We sampled goat cheese and blue cheese.

The cheese counter can be a daunting proposition, especially if you don’t really know what you’re looking for.

When it comes to Italian cheeses, here are four great ones you should try if you haven’t.

All four are totally drool-worthy and deserve a spot on your next charcuterie board.

Brenta Stagionato Cheese

Brenta Stagionato is a cow’s milk cheese from the Italian Alps.

It’s slightly sweet and riddled with the tiniest of holes.

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

Brenta is aged for at least two months—usually four to six—and is generally semi-hard.

(Brenta that’s been aged longer will be harder.)

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

Fontina Val D’aosta Cheese

Fontina is one of my favorite cheeses. (Bold statement for a mouse, I know.)

It’s also probably one of the most widely known Italian cheeses.

But have you ever had genuine Fontina?

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

It’s made from raw (unpasteurized) cow’s milk, and is aged 90 days.

Genuine Fontina comes from the Val D’aosta region of Italy, up in the Alps. This stuff is the real deal.

It’s nutty, buttery, and kind of sweet. It melts well, but is glorious when eaten out of hand (why it often shows up on dessert cheese plates).

The real stuff puts your run-of-the-mill supermarket Fontina to shame.

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

Piave Cheese

Piave is full-bodied cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk from the Piave River Valley region of Belluno, Italy.

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

It’s a sharp, cheese kind of like Parmesan, and intensifies in flavor as it ages.

It also grates really well.

Use it like you would Parmesan: grated over risotto, to finish pasta, etc.

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

Taleggio Cheese

Taleggio is another great dessert cheese.

Made in the Lombardy region of Italy, Taleggio is a rich, semi-soft cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk.

When it’s younger, it’s a pale-ish yellow, fairly firm, and milder in flavor.

As it ages, it gets darker, runnier, and totally stinky. 

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

If you want to cook with it, use it in my three-cheese risotto. It’s a-ma-zing.

It’s also a pretty spreadable cheese.

Cheese Tasting, Part 3: Italian Cheeses at The Hungry Mouse

What’s your favorite Italian cheese?

Or your favorite cheese in general, for that matter?

Where do you buy your cheese? Do you have a cheese shop you love in your town?

Leave a comment below, let us know! We love to hear from you guys. 

SHARE
Previous article9 Easy Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes
Next articleHow to Make Perfect French Toast
Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi, Your article is very beautiful and filled with information. I have learned a lot about the four Italian cheeses recipe. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe information.

LEAVE A REPLY