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  • Wendy Klarman

Cheesy Italy!

Beyond Wine: Embarking on Italy's Ultimate Cheese Journey

You know about Italy’s amazing wines, but what about her best friends the cheeses!? Let’s embark on a culinary journey throughout Italy as we explore some of the famous formaggio abroad.

Italy, the land where cheese is not just food but a form of art, offers a culinary journey like no other. Each region boasts its own specialty, creating a tapestry of tastes that cheese lovers can spend a lifetime exploring. Here's a tasty guide to some of the top cities in Italy where cheese isn't just on the menu; it's a piece of the local soul.

A fun fact about cheese names: A lot of them are eponymously named - when a thing is named after the thing it represents, where it is from, what it resembles, etc. Then the real question: is Asiago named after the cheese or is the cheese named after Asiago? Let’s explore!

First we univeil Parma: Parmigiano-Reggiano's Birthplace. In the lush landscapes of Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano reigns supreme. This crumbly, nutty cheese, aged to perfection, is often referred to as the "king of cheeses." Visit the local caseifici (cheese factories) to witness the meticulous aging process and savor samples that redefine your understanding of Parmesan.

Next up, Modena, the city renowned for its balsamic vinegar, also offers a rich cheese heritage, including the savory, soft-textured Modena Blu. The contrast between the tangy balsamic drizzle and the creamy cheese creates a gastronomic symphony. Just yum!

Of course we have to include the OG of cheese, Mozzarella. Originating from the lush Campania region, Mozzarella di Bufala is a testament to the art of cheese-making. Crafted from the milk of water buffaloes, this cheese boasts a delicate texture and a rich, tangy flavor that dances on the palate. Whether it's crowning a Neapolitan pizza, nestled within a Caprese salad, or enjoyed on its own, Mozzarella di Bufala elevates every dish it graces with its fresh, milky essence. A visit to Campania offers the chance to witness the love and tradition poured into every ball of Mozzarella, ensuring you'll never look at this cheese the same way again.

Now, let's talk about Burrata – Mozzarella's cream-filled cousin that has taken the culinary world by storm. Hailing from the Apulia region, Burrata is a marvel of cheese craftsmanship. At its heart lies a buttery mix of cream and cheese curds, encased in a smooth, mozzarella shell. Cutting into a Burrata is an experience in itself, revealing a rich, creamy interior that's both decadent and utterly irresistible. Served atop crusty bread, drizzled with olive oil, or paired with fresh tomatoes and basil, Burrata offers a sublime taste of Italian luxury. Exploring Apulia not only promises a scenic journey through Italy's heel but also an unforgettable culinary discovery of Burrata's lush flavors.

We are all familiar with blue cheese, but did you know her namesake is Gorgonzola? The small town located near Milan, is the home of the pungent, blue-veined cheese that's loved by many. Discover the sharp, earthy flavors of Gorgonzola cheese, which derives its signature bold flavors and hues from penicillin. Who knew medicine could help to create something so mouthwatering?

Now we encounter the pious town of Pienza, named by Pope Piccolomini, a Tuscan cheese haven. Pienza, nestled in the heart of Tuscany region, is famous for its Pecorino Toscano, a sheep's milk cheese that ranges from soft and buttery to firm and robust, depending on aging. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, and you'll find cheese shops at every corner, offering this delicacy.

Lastly, we uncover our beloved Asiago. Set in the Veneto Alps, it gives its name to the well-known Asiago cheese. This city's offerings range from fresh, mild varieties to aged, flavor-packed versions. Surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, cheese tasting in Asiago is an experience for all the senses.

These cities are just the starting point on Italy's cheese map, each offering a unique slice of the country's rich, cheesy heritage. You also are not limited to just eating cheese, though I think we’d all be happy with that.

There’s also the option of making your own cheese with the cheese masters in Italy!

Reach out to Spectacular Journeys today to add amazing cheese experiences to your Spectacular Italy vacation!


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