Monday, July 6, 2009

Italian Cheeses

How do you know when summer is truly here? The farmer's market tomatoes start looking really good, and Pastoral starts carrying Buffalo Mozzarella and Burrata once again! What is Burrata? Besides being ridiculously tasty it is also a cow's milk Mozzarella with a cream filled center. On the outside it looks just like regular Mozzarella, but inside it is filled with a combination of Mozzarella and cream. Soft, delicate, and a perfect complement to your summer tomatoes. Come in and get it before it's gone!

While we're talking about lovely Italian cheeses, recently Daphne Zepos of Essex St. Cheese and Giorgio Cravero came to our downtown store to do an event. During the event Marty, cheese whiz extraordinaire opened up a 90+ lb. wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The day before the event, there was a cheese seminar at Kendall College sponsored by Zuercher. We did a tasting of several different cheeses. Tasting is more than smelling and eating. All of the senses must be used. Snapping the cheese in half and getting that milky, lactic, salty, fruity aroma was one of my favorite parts of the day.

Did you know that...

*Giorgio Cravero is a 5th generation affineur.

*Parmigiano-Reggiano is made 365 days a year

*In the 1970's there were 1000 dairies coming together to make Parmigiano-Reggiano but now there are only 420

*There is documentation of Parmigiano-Reggiano being well established during the middle ages. The tools depicted in the early 1600's are the same as the ones used today.

If you would like to learn more about Parmigiano-Reggiano, Cesar did a great post on it a little while back that you can read here.

Cesar and Giorgio after the seminar.

If you've been at our Loop location for lunch, you know how busy it can get. Double that when we've got an event going on. Ken was pouring three different wines, Daphne and Giorgio were passing out cheese, and the cheese case was hopping!

Cesar and Nat behind the cheese counter.


Group shot with owners Ken and Greg, Giorgio and Daphne


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