When two people from a small village in Piedmont came into our shop to buy some cheese, we quickly realized that they lived in the same town as one of our favorite stagionature: Eros Buratti. Talking with them brought back visions of my visit with Eros and reminded me how special our relationship with the Buratti family is.
Eros and his family run a shop even smaller than Formaggio Kitchen in Intra, a small town in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. In the very, very beginning his father had a store front displaying freshly killed poultry. Now, 50 years later, it remains an entirely family-run operation with a focus on collecting, aging and retailing regional cheeses. On my last visit, I was introduced to their entire organization: Eros, his mom (Carla), his cousin Jair, Jair’s wife, and 3 other employees from the town.
The Burattis collect an astonishing array of cheeses from nearby farms (mostly Piedmont and Lombardy) from fresh robiole to aged pecorino and everything in between.
Mama Carla hand-wraps some of their fresh goats’ milk Robiole in fig, chestnut or cabbage leaves and sprinkles rosemary, wild flowers, and peperoncino on others. They handle a small, hand-selected export clientele (Formaggio Kitchen was the first in the US!) and they sell to restaurants in their village.
Their robiole are staff and customer favorites. We bring in small quantities on a regular basis but they sell quickly so if you notice that we have them in stock, pick one up – you won’t be disappointed.
Kurt Gurdal is the General Manager and lead cheese buyer at Formaggio Kitchen, Cambridge.