Tag Archives: italian cheese

11th edition of Slow Food Cheese: the coolest ever

French cheese display

Cheese: pungent, spicy, sweet, hard, soft, creamy, fresh, aged, and the list goes on and on. Like every single edition in previous years, the Slow Food Cheese fair this past weekend was an enormous success, attracting visitors in the hundreds of thousands. The layout was pretty much the same as 2015 with a few new additions: an area for food trucks and beer stands, and a gelato stand that had this amaaaazing toasted corn flavor.

We went on Friday, opening day, just before lunch. In my opinion it is the best day to go if you want to have a look around, nibble, taste, and stock up without feeling as if the hoards have already been there before you. The pressing crowds have yet to arrive (the shuttle bus to and from was practically empty on our ride) and the whole town of Bra has a nice, clean feel to it. A big plus was the weather which was much cooler in comparison to past events.

Slow Food cheese stash

Firm, semi-firm: Keen’s cheddar and Stichelton (UK), Montébore and Macagn (Italy). New to us is the Stichelton, which is similiar to Stilton but uses raw cow’s milk instead.

Slow Food cheese stash

Soft, semi-soft and downright oozing: Anneau des Gors and Figuettine (France), Tartucrem (Italy), Capri Algas (Spain). With the exception of the Tartucrem (truffles and soft gorgonzola) the remaining 3 goat cheeses are already half gone. Capri Algas has flecks of seaweed in it, and hidden within the Figuettine is a candied fig!

Figuettine
Figuettine

Caprí Algas Bahía de Cádiz
Caprí Algas Bahía de Cádiz: oozy goat’s milk cheese with seaweed.

Anyone who went to/blogged Slow Food Cheese 2017 is welcome to add a link to their post in the comments!

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Veneto unpacked (and served)

Veneto unpacked
Clockwise starting from top left: broccolo fiolaro, polenta, sarde alla veneziana, frico morbido, folpetti alla busara, bacala alla vicentina (center), asiago cheese

Prepackaged heat-n-serve meals go against my line of thinking when it comes to italian meals, but sometimes the aesthetics of cooking takes a back seat when all we want is just a little taste. Over the weekend we dug into some foods purchased on our way out of Veneto and all I know is this – we just gotta get back to the region again.

To start: sarde alla veneziana (sardines, venetian-style with onions and vinegar) and young asiago cheese with onion compote. I love onion anything.

Sarde alla veneziana Asiago with onion compote

Polenta 2 ways: baccala cooked in milk and baby octopus in a richly-flavored tomato sauce. The polenta is sliced from a thick slab and warmed on an oiled skillet until heated through.

Bacala alla vicentina Folpetti alla busara

Vegetable: broccolo fiolaro (a local variety of broccoli) and hard-boiled eggs. Cultivated in the Vicenza province, it has a vague sweet note and you can also eat the leaves. Enjoy it steamed or boiled with a little salt, pepper and olive oil.

Broccolo fiolaro

More cheese. And potato. All in a flat, hot, delicious little round. Who can resist anything that has potato and cheese? Frico morbido is actually from the Friuli region and one of the best things to eat on a gloomy spring day. Just make sure not to burn your mouth!

Frico morbido

Dogs welcome at the Fasulin de l’oc cun le cudeghe

Dogs welcome at Fasulin de l'oc in Pizzighettone

Yes. I cani possono entrare. Nine years ago at the Fasulin de l’oc event in Pizzighettone for the very first time, dogs weren’t included on the welcome mat. Fortunately for us at the time of our visit, someone took kindly to our plight and we were shown to a quiet section, far from the main dining area.

Casamatta 21 for the dogsWell now things have changed. Dogs (cats too, if we are to take that sign up top at face value) and their peeps have a designated space at the very end in Casamatta 21. We had no idea about this, but again, a kind soul noticed our bewildered faces, pointed us in the right direction, and suggested that one of us could get the food while the other sat with the dogs. This event grows bigger with each year and I’m glad we took his advice – look at that line below.

Pizzighettone Casematte

While the wait may have been longer than expected (about 30′), the quality and quantity of the dishes still remain the same after all these years. Black-eyed peas (fasulin de l’oc) and pork skin (cudeghe) nestled in a thick, flavorful broth. A popular example of comfort food in Italy no matter what the weather’s like outside.

Fasulin de l'oc 2015
Sunday lunch for 30€: black-eyed peas and pork skin soup, raspadura cheese, cheese cubes and mostarda, lardo and salame, grilled polenta, bread and wine.