All Things Delicious TheCheesePlusBlog

Grottone Cheese – A Tasty Surprise Inside A Burlap Bag

The other day our Cheese buyer, Stevie, was very excited for a new cheese arriving at the store.  She couldn’t tell me much about it as she brought it in on a whim and the promise from her sales rep that it was going to be stunning.  When we opened the box, there was burlap bag inside, and inside that burlap was a very cool looking cheese – shaped like a big egg or maybe a pineapple?  No, I said, I was just in Providence, RI and they have something similar looking on their archway over Atwells Ave and we were told with quite certainty it’s a Pine Nut (Pignoli).  Whatever it is, it’s a cool looking cheese.

Initially we didn’t know what to think of it so we sat it on the counter for a couple of days, mesmerized like the Father in A Christmas Story with his Fishnet Leg Lamp. Finally after a number of days speculating what we were going to find under that rough textured rind we decided to cut into it!  Boy were we surprised when we sliced the cheese in two parts – is it a Swiss?, we all said in unison.  Those are some mighty nice eyes in there.

We were all sure it was going to be somewhere between Provolone and its rustic cousin Caciocavallo, but it’s much more tender, with a sweetness that reminds us of Baby Swiss.  Which is probably what it really is.  There’s a French cheese called Fol Epi with a rough rind fashioned with wheat stalk motifs atop I sold a number of years ago that comes to mind.  The unique cross hatch pattern is achieved by hanging the cheese in mesh nylon netting.  As the cheese settles it bulges a bit at the bottom.

There really isn’t any information about the cheese readily available on the internet or from our supplier. From a quick scan of their website and Facebook page we discovered the folks at Iaquilat Caseificio just northeast of Naples make a small number of cheeses – mostly mozzarella, ricotta, and of course Grottone.  They even have a storefront in San Salvatore Telesino, a comune in the Province of Benevento in Campania.

We really were quite surprised when we saw those Swiss eyes, and pleasantly surprised with the sweet milky flavor and tender texture.  A fun cheese to pair with sliced Fra’Mani Toscano Salami or Zoe’s Spicy Coppa.




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This article was written on 02 Nov 2014, and is filed under Cheese.


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