April 12, 2009

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Il Formaggio Italiano

picture-2 For years I had no where to go and buy great cheeses. I would visit other cities and marvel at the wonderful cheese shops and wonder if we would ever get a something like that in San Diego. I got to the point where I was ordering cheese on the internet and having it shipped to me. Not inexpensive and waiting for that box to arrive was also not the easiest for a girl with a craving for more than grocery store cheese.

Time passed and finally we got a real cheese shop. It’s not right down the street, but it’s close enough to run out and buy something special when the mood strikes. When planning a dinner for Easter I seem to always gravitate towards Italian food and thought it would be nice to pick up a few Italian cheeses to have with drinks.

I like to try cheese that I haven’t had before and this time I came home with two. The first photo is of the Tuscan cheese Brinata. It is made from sheep’s milk and is likened to a brie or camembert but is actually a type of pecorino fresco. It’s a moist cheese with a soft, smooth texture. The rind is delicate and edible. “Brina” is the Italian word for “frost” and the rind looks like a dusting of frost! I used a little of this along with prosciutto in a piadina that I made for lunch and it was the perfect compliment.

The second is a goat’s milk cheese from the island of Sardinia. This one is full flavored and a little sweet, and has only a subtle goat cheese flavor. It’s a firmer cheese than the Brinata, but equally as delicious. This one would be great served with honey and some nuts.


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