America is the land of the cheese, and Americans are perhaps one of the top consumers of cheese globally with the average person consuming approximately 23 pounds of cheese per year. If you love cheese and enjoy trying out different types, you'll find heaven on Italian restaurant menus. Italian cheese boards are simply exquisite, as they are filled with an assortment of different tasting cheese. Here are 3 particular ones you'll want to keep an eye out for.
The Delicious Creaminess of Burrata
Burrata is perhaps one of the most popular Italian cheese of them all. Burrata is not mozzarella, but it is made from water buffalo milk, which is why it will need to be imported straight from Italy. The water buffalo in the U.S. simply cannot produce the same quality milk. Burrata is made from pulled curd that has been formed into a ball with a hollow pouch. The pouch is then filled with fresh cream and bits and pieces of curd.
Burrata is an incredibly supple and yielding cheese. You'll have to cut through the outer shell to reveal the creamy goodness hidden within. Burrata is best paired with prosciutto when on a cheeseboard, as the two flavors really complement each other. Many people also enjoy spreading burrata on bread, and mixing in some pesto sauce with the cheese for an enhanced tasting experience.
The Aged Flavor of Pecorino
Pecorino is made from sheep's milk, which is why it has a higher fat content. There are many different types of pecorino cheese, like pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano, which are categorized based on not only the region where it is made, but also the length of time it has been aged.
Aged pecorinos, which have been aged for at least 6 months, tend to drier, denser, firmer and also more flavorful while younger pecorinos, which have only been aged for 1 to 3 months, tend to be more yielding and chewy. Young pecorinos have more of a milky flavor to them with a hint of sweetness. Generally speaking, aged pecorinos go well with red wine whereas young pecorinos are normally spread with bread or crackers.
The Exquisite and Unique Taste of Gorgonzola
If you love blue cheese, you'll definitely want a taste of gorgonzola, which is one of the oldest blue-veined cheese in the world. Gorgonzola is made from unskimmed cow's milk or even goat's milk at times, and takes 3 to 4 months to attain full ripeness. There are different types of gorgonzola cheese made in Italy. For example, gorgonzola dolce has more of a sweet taste to it whereas gorgonzola Piccante is much stronger, and tastes sharp.
Gorgonzola can be used as a spread or paired with red wine. Depending on the different flavors infused into the cheese, it can also be paired with different types of delicatessens.
Cheese lovers often rejoice at Italian restaurants, such as Pizzeria Roma, due to the vast amount of different cheeses that are offered on the menu. If you want to sample many different cheeses all at once, a cheeseboard would make an excellent appetizer. It's also easy to share a cheeseboard among friends.