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An array of new Italian cheeses.

23/04/2010

An exciting selection of Italian cheeses from the gastronomic hotspots of Piedmont, Lombardy and Puglia arrived at Mellis this week. Ranging from the silky smooth pair of Robiolas modelled by Kirsty below, through an unctuous, lavish Gorgonzola and Mascarpone torta to two firmer, sophisticated cheeses from the mountainous north, we insist you drop by and sample these delights today.

Robiola ai tre Latte, Kirsty Macdonald and Robiola di Capra

Particularly spectacular (and by far the most indulgent) is the Burrata (meaning ‘buttered’): a heady, extravagant mix of cow’s milk mozzarella – offering a slight lactic bite – alongside fresh, rich Pugliese cream. Perfect for a warm sunny day’s lunch, serve with ripe juicy tomatoes, salty olives, some fresh marjoram and a drop or two of your favourite vinegar for the ultimate treat.

We would also recommend sitting it triumphantly on top of warm crusty bread, or stirred through fresh tagliatelle with a spoonful of capers and some cracked black pepper.

Below are the two firmer cheeses, both excellent additions to the weekend cheeseboard. The first, Branzi, made north of Bergamo and Milan, is normally aged for somewhere between two and three months. Ours is matured for closer to seven, creating a rich, complex bite of great integrity.

Maccagno, seen as the king of Tomas, shares certain characteristics with the classic Tomme de Savoie – rustic, comforting, a soft elasticity and fantastic to snack on – and as such is a must try for any Alpine cheese enthusiast.

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