Tag Archives: cheese🧀

Wine trip to Lake Garda continued…

Even after all this time living in Italy, I still get queasy whenever we come across conditions like this. Just can’t stand fog. It’s damp, eery, and gives me the creeps. But figuring that wine is no good without some local cheese, I got it in my head to check out a cheese farm that I had found earlier on google maps. A half hour north from where we were staying, Il Castello was tucked away in quiet mountain location, reachable only by driving a bunch of skinny, twisting roads.

Località Castello, Via Castello, Ferrara di Monte Baldo VERONA

After coming all this way, I prayed that someone would be there… And someone was! An old man who didn’t know what to make of the Asian-looking gal stepping out of a bright orange Jeep. Only when MotH emerged from the driver’s side did everything fall into place. We, well he (the old man) talked some, lamenting the weather conditions because it was the period for bringing the herd to graze at higher elevation, but there was still snow on the ground and they had to wait.

A few minutes later an elderly woman comes out to show us into the cheese shop. They sell a little of everything: cheese, butter, salame, beer (from a local producer), ricotta, and fruit jams. She let us into the storing room for a look and photo op, and I was happy as a clam. We bought a small chunk of raw cows milk cheese, a salame, beer and apricot jam to bring back with us.

Rosato Lu.Mi, Rosso Verona I.G.T, Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Ripasso, Amarone, Recioto

With the cheese squared away, and the fog thankfully lifted, later in the afternoon we went for a wine-tasting at Le Bignele Winery in Valpolicella. Located a half hour east from Corte Patrizia, the area of Valpolicella is known for its wine production (Wiki says it ranks 2nd after Chianti) and there are numerous wineries to visit and taste. I picked Le Bignele because of the high scores on Tripadvisor and it did not disappoint. Reasonable fee (6,45€ per person) for 6 tastings each, complete with a matching cheese or cured meat pairing. Of course we had the Italian-speaking guide but when we arrived at the last stop of the tour – the tasting room – there was a guide speaking in English to a couple of visitors.

The 6 bottles above? We liked all of them for various reasons and bought one of each. 72 euros well spent. I swear we’ll just have to get out to Valpolicella more often and check out several wineries on a weekend. It’s certainly closer than driving to Chianti but next time, I’m bringing our own cheese…

It’s a good day for a hanging

Make that every day with the way the weather has been these past few weeks. Even though the nights are rather cool, during waking hours it feels like early summer – perfect conditions for grilling and dining al fresco. Ever since the Slow Food Cheese event last month, caciocavallo impiccato (hanging cheese at the Molise food truck) has been on my mind and that’s what got me started on our own ‘cheese dangling’ experiment.

At the supermarket you can buy quartered caciocavallo which is just the amount we needed. At first I attached the cheese to a bamboo pole but quickly abandoned that idea as it wasn’t too practical. The Moth then set up his work ladder and with a few minor adjustments, the cheese could hang on its own. That left us free to grill the rest of the food and start into the wine.

I’ve discovered a kit for hosting your own caciocavallo party at home. You have to watch it (adds real meaning to the phrase “hanging around”), but I think the best way to enjoy this is at an Italian sagra like the one below. Look at those babies swing!