On a recent trip to Italy, I had the opportunity to visit a co-op that makes Parmigiano Reggiano. It was a first for me – I have witnessed the cheese making process before and have even tried my hand at making chèvre but I had never before observed the making of a hard, aged cheese Continue Reading »
It should come as no surprise that staff members here at Formaggio Kitchen are pretty passionate about mac and cheese. Everyone has a different take on their favorite – affected by how they had it growing up, pasta shapes and, of course, cheese preferences.
I recently had the good fortune to dine at B&G Oysters in the South End. With a natural affinity for all things dairy and, in particular, for a good mac and cheese, I ordered the orzo from their list of “Sides” to go with my lobster roll.
On a recent trip to Italy, I had the opportunity to visit a co-op that makes Parmigiano Reggiano. It was a first for me – I have witnessed the cheesemaking process before and have even tried my hand at making chèvre but I have never before observed the making of a hard, aged cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano. A small group of farmers in the area bring milk to the co-operative each week and, starting at 5am every day, that milk begins a process that transforms it into a cheese so many of us know and love. Parmigiano Reggiano is a DOP product. In Italian, DOP stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Designation of Origin).
Every two years, the biggest festival in the cheese world happens in Bra, Italy. The event is known simply as “Cheese.” Cheesemakers, cheesemongers, journalists, food lovers and folks lucky enough to live close by, descend on the small town of Bra to sample, sell and eat literally tons of cheese.
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.
Sometimes it’s just handy to have a good dried pasta in the larder for spontaneous pasta-making. Fresh pasta (pasta fresco) and dried pasta (pasta secca) are really two different beasts. Since working at Formaggio Kitchen, I have become a devotee of a dried pasta made by Poschiavo (and I know several other colleagues who have too).
While each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano varies with the season, we find that Cravero parm tends to have a moist texture and flavors of pineapple, baked bread, and grass flavors. Well cared for and sourced from farms of the highest quality, it’s what we recommend to customers looking to include a Parmigiano on a cheese platter.
Our head chef, Eduardo, has cooking in his bones – here’s his recipe for Roasted Chestnut Risotto.
History was my major in college and, when I read about cheeses, it is the history behind them that particularly fascinates me.
On a recent trip to Jasper Hill Farm, I had the distinct pleasure not only of tasting many delicious cheeses made and aged here in New England, but also of getting acquainted with some inhabitants of the farm who happen to be just as fond of dairy products — or by-products as the case may be — as I am.