Lombardy is a region in the northernmost part of Italy, sitting on the country’s Alpine border with Switzerland. The terrain is varied, ranging from plains in the southern part, to the Alpine heights of the Valtellina in the north. Lakes stretch out along the countryside and rivers criss-cross the verdant landscape. Lombardy is a part of Italy that is home to many well-known cheeses: Taleggio, Mascarpone, Provolone, Grana Padano and Gorgonzola. If you were to follow the Po River, heading west out of Lombardy, you would arrive in the Piedmont, another rich cheese-making region. The town of Bra, home to possibly the most widely respected cheese festival in the world, is situated in this part of Italy. Like their neighbors in Lombardy, cheesemakers of the Piedmont make Taleggio and Gorgonzola. Among the many cheeses in their canon, are other familiar names like Raschera, Robiola di Roccaverano and Castelmagno. Continue Reading »
Here at the shop, we have many kinds of salt, sourced from all over the world. It is a little bit daunting to try to choose between the lot of them so when Ihsan recently opened a number of them for a class, I jumped at the opportunity to do a little tasting across varieties and types, hitting many of the ones I had never tried before.
Most folks are aware that salt is somehow critical to human survival. Reading Mark Kurlansky’s book, Salt, I became aware of just how integral this substance is to the healthy functioning of our bodies and, consequently, the major role it has played in human affairs throughout much of recorded history. As far as our bodies are concerned – the average adult human contains just over a half pound of salt or, as Kurlansky calculates, roughly 3 or 4 salt shakers. However, in the natural course of things, we lose this salt and must take action to replenish it.
The terms “double-crème” and “triple-crème” are bandied about a lot in cheese shops. While most folks have a general idea of what they mean in terms of texture (creamy, spreadable!) and flavor (buttery, lactic!) for a cheese, these terms actually have very specific meanings.
For New England bakers, the time of year has come when pumpkin starts cropping up on the menu.
Almost every Sunday evening at Formaggio Kitchen, we hold a class. Most of our classes somehow involve cheese, even if that’s not the headline topic for the evening. Classes range from Cheese 101 (always a sell out!) to classes that focus on subjects such as Piedmontese wines, American beers, pizza making or barbecuing!