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Italian cheeses: 5 most popular

When it comes to Italian cuisine, pasta, pizza and, of course, famous cheeses come to mind. Residents of sunny Italy are proud of their cheeses; in August-September, grandiose festivals are held in some regions where guests of the festival taste various varieties, and cheese-makers share their experiences. The assortment of cheeses is very diverse – more than 400 types of this product are produced in different regions of the Apennine Peninsula.

The palatability of Italian cheeses depends on the raw materials used, the conditions for growing animals that produce milk, and the climate in which the cheeses mature. Delicate Italian soft cheeses are produced mainly in the northern regions, and spicy and spicy in the southern regions. BlogoItaliano made the TOP of the most famous Italian cheeses, distinguished by impeccable taste and enjoying well-deserved popularity.

1.Parmesan
Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) – the leader in popularity among Italian cheeses. This hard cheese with a beautiful golden crust is produced in only a few provinces of the Emilia-Romagna region – Parma, Bologna, Reggio Emil and Modena. Parmesan recipe was invented by Benedictine monks in the XII century – since then, neither the composition of the cheese, nor the stages of production, nor its taste have changed. For the manufacture of Parmigiano Reggiano, the highest quality milk is used, in order to get a standard cheese head weighing 35-40 kilograms, about 550 liters of raw materials are needed.

Parmesan, which has a pleasant sweetish taste and a pungent spicy aroma with nutty notes, is used both as an independent dish and as a necessary ingredient in many Italian dishes – pasta, pizza, soups, salads.
Parmesan recipe invented by Benedictine monks in the XII century

2.Gorgonzola
The famous gorgonzola, so revered by cheese gourmets, has been known in Italy since the 9th century. Its homeland is a small town of the same name, located near Milan. Real gorgonzola is made from the milk of cows grazing on the mountain pastures of Piedmont and Lombardy.

A feature of the preparation of this Italian cheese variety is the separate curling of morning and evening milk and its layering. For the natural occurrence of blue mold in the cheese mass, punctures are made. The ripening period of gorgonzola varies from 2 to 6 months, a soft version of the cheese is obtained after 2-3 months, more spicy – after 4-6 months.
The famous Gorgonzola cheese has been known in Italy since the 9th century.

Gorgonzola, which gives the dishes a rich pungent taste, is used to make soufflé, cakes, sauces, salads, and is served with wines and desserts.

3.Mozzarella
Mozzarella – Italian soft cheese made from buffalo milk. Traditional mozzarella is made in the Campania region from black buffalo milk, but modern producers, due to the reduction in the number of these animals, allow the use of a mixture of buffalo and cow’s milk as raw materials.

This cheese has a special viscous texture obtained in the process of cooking the cheese mass and its subsequent kneading. Mozzarella ripens very quickly – from 1 to 3 days. In stores you can find several types of mozzarella – it can be balls of various sizes or pigtails. Smoked mozzarella is also found.
Mozzarella is the main ingredient in a traditional Italian caprese dish.

Tender mozzarella is the main ingredient in a traditional Italian caprese dish, which, in addition to cheese, includes tomatoes and aromatic herbs seasoned with olive oil. In addition, this cheese is used for pizza, lasagna, pasta, various casseroles, pies, cold dishes.

4.Mascarpone
Fatty and soft Italian mascarpone cheese, which has a pleasant sweetish taste, is obtained from cream made from cow or buffalo milk. In fact, raw mascarpone is called only conditionally, since this product is made without the use of special starter cultures or enzymes.
The consistency of Mascarpone resembles soft butter or thick sour cream

By consistency, this cheese resembles soft butter or thick sour cream – this allows you to use it as a sandwich mass or cream, mixed with powdered sugar, berries, herbs, spices. Mascarpone is an indispensable ingredient in the famous tiramisu cakes, as well as some varieties of ice cream.

5.Ricotta
Italian ricotta cheese, resembling cottage cheese in consistency, is made from whey obtained from cow, buffalo, goat or sheep’s milk. This cheese does not require time to ripen, it can be eaten almost immediately after cooking.
Ricotta does not require time to ripen: cheese can be eaten immediately after cooking

Several types of ricotta are produced – this is soft fresh cheese, more mature salty, as well as smoked. Ricotta is widely used for making cheesecakes, puddings, casseroles, ravioli, pizza, some types of lasagna, as well as salads.

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