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Posts Tagged ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’

Chef Eduardo's Mac and Cheese

Chef Eduardo’s Mac and Cheese

It should come as no surprise that staff members here at Formaggio Kitchen are pretty passionate about mac and cheese. Everyone has a different take on their favorite – affected by how they had it growing up, pasta shapes and, of course, cheese preferences. As with the grilled cheese survey of a few months ago, I took a little stroll around the shop to see just how varied folks’ notion of this classic dish were. Here are the results! (more…)

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Toasted Orzo Parmigiano Reggiano Mac and Cheese

A couple of months ago, I had the good fortune to have a late afternoon lunch at B&G Oysters in the South End. With a natural affinity for all things dairy and, in particular, for a good mac and cheese, I ordered the orzo from their list of “sides” to go with my lobster roll.

It arrived in a small ceramic dish, hot from the oven. I pierced the crumb topping with my spoon and scooped up a bite. A little puzzled because there were some darker colored bits in amongst the cheesy creaminess, I thought that there was a little prosciutto surprise in there. (more…)

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Old and Young Parmigiano Reggiano

On a recent trip to Italy, I had the opportunity to visit a co-op that makes Parmigiano Reggiano. It was a first for me – I have witnessed the cheesemaking process before and have even tried my hand at making chèvre but I had never before observed the making of a hard, aged cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano. (more…)

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Bra, Italy - Respect the City of CheeseEvery two years, the biggest festival in the cheese world happens in Bra, Italy. The event is known simply as “Cheese.” Cheesemakers, cheesemongers, journalists, food lovers and folks lucky enough to live close by, descend on the small town of Bra to sample, sell and eat literally tons of cheese. This year at the biennial festival it was no different. With one exception. The thermometer hit a whopping 90°F. (more…)

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Brie with Walnuts and Raisins on the VineThe terms “double-crème” and “triple-crème” are bandied about a lot in cheese shops. While most folks have a general idea of what they mean in terms of texture (creamy, spreadable!) and flavor (buttery, lactic!) for a cheese, these terms actually have very specific meanings. (more…)

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“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”

- Federico Fellini

Gioie di Fattoria Bucatini and Tomato Passata with Parmigiano ReggianoA couple of years ago, I traveled to Bologna to visit a cousin. Based a little ways outside the main city, the family home was situated amidst a gently rolling landscape populated with apricot trees and vineyards. While I was there, I thought to myself that if I ever left the United States for retirement, it might just be to Italy. The weather was wonderful – hot enough to make you want to swim but not hot enough to be unbearable and the food was out of this world! There were a number of firsts on that trip, including my first taste of limoncello. However, one of my most memorable food experiences was tasting fresh tortellini made by a lady just down the road. (more…)

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Parmigiano Reggiano is essential to the economy in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. That may not be so surprising in and of itself but, did you know that the local banks there accept cheese as collateral? Cravero Parmigiano ReggianoIn 2009, Credito Emiliano had two climate controlled warehouses where they stored roughly 440,000 wheels of Parmigiano. All total, those wheels were worth approximately $187 million.

Parmigiano Reggiano was also considered sufficiently valuable to be the target of a heist. In February of 2009, thieves tunneled into a parm warehouse and stole 570 wheels before they were caught. Honestly, one wonders how well thought out the plan was, considering each wheel of parm weighs about 80-lbs. and bears a unique serial number (much like money) to identify it. The funniest part of the story, however, was the remark made by the vault manager after the cheese had been recovered: “Thank heavens we caught the robbers before they grated it!”* (more…)

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Eduardo making Roasted Chestnut RisottoOur head chef, Eduardo, has cooking in his bones. His dinners and soups are made largely based on instinct – an instinct finely honed over 15+ years of cooking. We managed to capture some of his genius on paper, however, with this recipe: (more…)

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Fourme d'Ambert

Fourme d'Ambert

History was my major in college and, when I read about cheeses, it is the history behind them that particularly fascinates me. For example, I love being able to imagine folks in the 9th century enjoying Fourme d’Ambert when I sample out that classic, French blue cheese to customers in the shop.

Some cheeses have changed quite a lot over time. Saint-Marcellin is a prime example. Originally this was a goats’ milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves. As the centuries passed, however, production shifted to favor cows’ milk and, today, the cheese is pretty much known as a cows’ milk cheese. As well, Saint-Marcellin is rarely leaf-wrapped these days; it is sold in small crocks (which, when no longer holding cheese, I like to use for all sorts of things from laundry quarters to paper clips!). (more…)

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Pigs drinking whey at Jasper Hill FarmOn a recent trip to Jasper Hill Farm, I had the distinct pleasure not only of tasting many delicious cheeses made and aged here in New England, but also of getting acquainted with some inhabitants of the farm who happen to be just as fond of dairy products — or by-products as the case may be — as I am.

The farm has acquired its group of piglets for the season, and man, do they love whey!

Farms producing milk and making cheese from it inherently find themselves with loads of whey, the liquid that separates out from the milk when cheese curds are formed. There are some great uses for this tangy liquid — in some cases, you can use it to make traditional ricotta and other cheeses. Or you can use it in the kitchen in place of water in breads, sauces and stews. Or you can just drink it straight, as it’s filled with protein, vitamins and minerals. You can really only consume so much whey though, and inevitably you can’t keep up with production. So the question becomes: what to do with the rest? (more…)

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