Imagine your favorite Italian dish. Odds are that your favorite includes some sort of delicious, cheesy goodness. Cheeses of all types tie together many staples of Italian cuisine from Eggplant Parmigiana to dishes like our Duck Sugo Orecchiette. But how well do you know Italian cheeses? If you’re like most people, you can name the most common types–Mozzarella, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano–but what sets these great cheeses apart? Catania Coastal Italian is here with the Italian cheese profiles to make your taste buds tingle!
Let’s start with this classic. Originating in Italy, Mozzarella is traditionally made from the milk of water buffaloes. Unlike most other types of cheese, Mozzarella is not aged but rather eaten fresh within a few hours after it is made. Because water buffalo are unique to a specific part of the world, most Mozzarella cheeses in the United States are made from cow’s milk.
One of the beloved cheeses of connoisseurs around the world, Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan as we call it, traditionally comes from the Italian provinces from which it takes its name: Parma, Reggio, Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and Mantua. True Parmesan is hard with a nutty taste and a gritty texture and in general, cheeses earning the designation of “parmesan” have to be produced by grass or hay-fed cows.
In the United States Pecorino Romano is also made from cow’s milk, but traditionally it’s Italian equivalent is made from 100% sheep’s milk. Pecorino Romano dates back to the time of the Romans and was a staple in the diets of Roman soldiers and average citizens alike. It has a hard texture and a sharp and salty flavor, making it a great alternative to Parmesan and just as easy to grate over pasta and bread.
The world of cheese is vast and full of delicious and unique varieties. Italy is home to many of these calcium-rich beauties. The good news is that you don’t even have to leave La Jolla to enjoy them! Stop by Catania Coastal Italian or call to make a reservation today! An authentic Italian experience is waiting just outside your door.