Typical Italian Cheese Menus - Formaggi
From the Italian Restaurant Menus Collection
Typical Italian cheese menus - "formaggi" - is the sixth in the series of Italian food menus from beautiful Maremma in Italy. It forms part of the Maremman Italian Restaurant Menus Collection that will have your taste buds booking a flight to this undiscovered part of Tuscany and Lazio!
I have added a little information about each of the Italian cheeses featured in the menus. I hope you enjoy them.
A little note about Italian cheese and honey...
Italian hard cheeses over lunch or dinner in Maremma are usually served with pears, walnuts, slices of bread and an accompanying drizzle or small pot of local honey. I know that honey with cheese may sound a little odd, but please suspend any misgivings - as I once did with much scepticism when my Italian partner in life first suggested that I drizzle honey on my Parmigiano - and try it. I promise you that you will start a new love affair with "Parmesan". Then try it with a slice of hard pear... and your usual bread and cheese lunch just won't be the same again.
(By the way, his honey of preference for "formaggio" Parmigiano or Grana, is "miele Italiano di castagno" - Italian honey made from the nectar of chestnut flowers.)
Italian Cheese Menu: Il Leccio Ristorante
This "formaggi" menu is from the ristorante Il Leccio in Cura Nuova, near Massa Marittima. It is one of my very favourite restaurants in Maremma.
FORMAGGI - Italian Cheeses
PECORINO TOSCANO PASSOCCIO
One of the four main varieties of a family of hard Italian cheeses made from sheep milk. Pecorino Toscano is the Tuscan relative of Pecorino Sardo made almost exclusively by Sardinians who emigrated to Southern Tuscany with their flocks in the 1950s. A salty, strong and very dry sheeps cheese.
A fresh, rather than matured Pecorino cheese with a softer texture and milder cream and milk taste.
Pecorino Sardo is the second of the four main varieties of Pecorino. Made entirely in Sardinia, it is a mature, tasty and strong Italian cheese.
A hard, granular and cooked cheese commonly known as "Parmesan" in the UK. It is made entirely from grass fed cows milk with the only additive being salt and matured for between 12 and 36 months. Parmigiano Reggiano has a sharp, complex fruity/nutty taste with a strong umami flavour and a slightly gritty texture.
To read about "Ristorante Il Leccio" and browse the whole of their restaurant menu, click on this Restaurant Maremma link.
Typical Italian Cheese Menu: La Lanternina
This typical Italian cheese menu is taken from one of my favourite restaurants in Follonica: La Lanternina 2 Palmieri situated along the seafront in Pratorantieri.
FORMAGGI - Italian Cheeses
(Caseificio Spadi Fortunato)
A fresh and soft cheese made from a mixture of pastorized cow and sheep milks. Matured only briefly for 30 days.
A hard, mature and granular Italian cheese similar to Parmigiano Reggiano. It's name comes from the Italian word "grana" which means "grain".
FORMAGGIO GRANA CON MIELE
Grana cheese with honey
FORMAGGIO GRANA CON ACETO BALSAMICO E RUCOLA
Grana cheese with balsamic vinegar and rocket
A veined Italian blue cheese, made from whole unskimmed cow's milk. There are two types: "dolce" and "piccante". The dolce variety is creamy and soft with its own particular and characteristic slightly strong taste.
The piccante variety has a decisive and strong taste, and a more solid and crumbly texture.
Probably the most famous of Italian cheeses, Mozzarella is a fresh. semi-soft cheese, generally white in colour and round in form, with a very mild milky taste. The principle varieties are: "Mozzarella fior di latte", which is made from fresh pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk; "Mozzarella di Bufala" (buffalo Mozzarella), made from domesticated water buffalo milk; and smoked Mozzarella.
More Italian menus...
- The one before in the series - Contorni - the side dishes
- And, the one after - Dolce - Italian desserts