Friday, April 25, 2014

Cheese: Piedmont white gold!

Today we're talking about cheese because besides France, Italy is also a large cheese producer!
Can you guess how many different types of cheeses are produced in the boot?
403 kinds which means you can taste a different cheese every single day of the year and still have some more to enjoy the next one!

80% of the Italian cheese production is from the Alpine areas and Piedmont mountain pastures and green hills give us a great variety of them!
In fact, cheese in Piedmont is known as white gold.

Generally speaking, Italian cheeses are divided according to:
- the milk they are made of (cow, goat, sheep, buffalo)
- their fats content (whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed)
- the curdling temp
- the milk acidity degree when curdling
- their texture
- their aging time/process

Moreover, some Italian cheeses belong to special categories, such as:
- "cheesy paste"
- "hot cheeses" because of the special enzymes that tingle our palate

The most popular and high quality cheeses produced in Piedmont are about 30; they are made of cow or goat milk, hard and aged, soft and fresh, some are DOP certified and many are from native species.

Some of the Piedmontese cheeses, like toma, have been appreciated since the Roman times back when Hannibal came down the Alps!

Piedmont loves cheese because... it can easily be incorporated in a large number of traditional specialties such as:
- risotto
- gnocchi
- fondue
- meats
- carpaccio
- salads
and naturally, you can even savor it plain on artisanal bread and with local cured meats!

So, stay tuned, because in the weeks to come we'll present some of the most delicious and traditional cheeses of Piedmont and Italy!

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