Tuscan cheese delight

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A platter of Formaggio I Toscana, cheeses from Tuscany, a glass of wine and a basket of crusty bread – a cheesy girl’s dream lunch!

Nestled up a side street in Arezzo, we lucked upon a restaurant with a fabulous array of Italian and French cheeses. I loved that I had a choice and of course chose the local ones.

They arrived with typical Italian flourish, their names tripping off our waiter’s tongue at breakneck speed. So whilst it sounded gorgeous, I had scant idea of what I was eating at the time! Later, after a few glasses of wine, I summoned enough courage in my stumbling Italianglish to ask his colleague to write down their names.

I am not sure he got them all correct, as there were 5 cheeses on my plate, but 6 on the list he so kindly wrote me!

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So here’s what I think I ate, counter-clockwise from the top in the above picture. Raviggiolo, a silky smooth super-fresh cheese, almost like junket in its gentle milkiness. A ricotta, drizzled in olive oil and garnished with pepper. Stracchino di Capra, like a young Taleggio, a little tangy and made from goat’s milk. A youngish, soft Pecorino, and a Marzolino del Chianti, a pale, raw milk ewe’s cheese with a lemony roundness. Finally a Blu di Capra, a sharp, salty blue surprisingly easy to eat.

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Luckily I brought my Slowfood Italian Cheese book with me from Nuova Zelanda to help me identify these Tuscan delights. It did however cast a shadow over my excitement at eating a latte crudo, raw milk Raviggiolo. I’d spied the cheese’s packaging in their cheese counter inside. However the Slowfood book distinguishes two types of Ravioggiolo, the ordinary one I ate, made from pasteurised milk, and a rather more rare type made from said raw milk, only available from October to March. Hmm I guess I will have to keep trying fresh cheeses until I can be sure to have crossed the raw milk fresh cheese off my bucket list. How terrible but I think dear friends, I am up to it.

5 thoughts on “Tuscan cheese delight

  1. Hello Lucy, love your site to bits – about the raw milk – may I say that ” raw milk” as opposed to pasteurised milk is by far a healthier option and by no means bad for your health. Unfortunately, our eyes have been closed to many harsh realities and one of them is the consumption of raw milk. Just putting it out there.

    Carol Thebus

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