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Los quesos típicos italianos y las recetas más deliciosas

In Italian cuisine, cheese has the same importance as pasta, hams and wine. In addition to marrying its taste with the simplest or most elaborate dishes, it is itself an excellence and every Italian region has its reference cheese.  

In Italy the production of milk and its processing into cheese has always played a central role in the agricultural activity and in the nutrition of families. We can say, therefore, that there is a well-established dairy culture, made of typical Italian cheeses some of which have become famous all over the world. 

Each region of Italy has at least one cheese that represents it from the point of view of dairy production and, in most cases, these are products that also have the designation of origin recognised at European level – PDO and PGI; in other cases, instead, it is PAT cheeses or Traditional Food Products.

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Classification of typical Italian cheeses

The typical Italian cheeses amount to about 487 and can be classified considering different variants, such as: the type of milk used, the fat content, the type of rind, the maturing process or the consistency. 

For example, depending on the type of milk that is used for the production of cheese, we will be able to have cow, sheep, goat, buffalo or mixed cheeses, when they include different types of milk. 

Then, according to the heat treatment of the milk, we will have raw milk cheeses, such as the famous Parmigiano Reggiano or pasteurized milk cheeses, such as Gorgonzola. 

Below, here are the most famous typical Italian cheeses in Italy and not only, divided by type of pasta.

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Typical Italian hard cheese

Depending on the consistency we can have hard, semi-hard or soft cheeses. Hard cheeses are those in which the water content is below 35%. 

Grana Padano PDO 

Grana Padano PDO is the most exported Italian cheese, produced with raw cow’s milk, hard and cooked. 

Its maturation is slow and varies from 9 to over 20 months.

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Parmigiano Reggiano PDO

Gastronomic opponent par excellence of Grana Padano, is the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP: another hard cheese like its «opponent», produced with raw cow’s milk partially skimmed and without the addition of any additive.

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Pecorino

Based on sheep’s milk, it is produced in various regions, in particular in Lazio, Sardinia and Sicily. It can be fresh, semi-aged and seasoned, according to the time of maturation. The taste is very savory and tasty, characteristics that vary with aging.

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Montasio

Cheese made from cow’s milk, produced in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto. Its taste changes with the aging time: when it is fresh it has a delicate taste and the rind is soft. As the cheese matures, it becomes more aromatic and the crust becomes hard and crumbly.

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Typical Italian semi-hard cheeses

These cheeses contain more water than hard cheeses, a quantity that varies from 36% to 45% and have an average aging. 

Fontina PDO 

Fontina is a cheese of the Aosta Valley, is fat and soft. It has a very thin and brown crust that contrasts with the soft straw yellow texture. The taste is delicate when it is fresh and more aromatic and fruity when matured. 

Asiago PDO 

Famous cheese of Venetian origin, Asiago is one of the most appreciated typical Italian cheeses and also known outside the national borders. It is made with cow’s milk and has a sweet and delicate taste. 

Castelmagno PDO 

Originally from Piedmont, Castelmagno has a crumbly consistency at the beginning of maturing and more compact with the passing of months. the taste is delicate and not very savory when it is fresh, tends to flavor a little with aging but it is still a cheese with a light and pleasant aroma. 

Bitto PDO 

Bitto is produced only with cow’s milk from Valtellina to which is added a small part of goat’s milk. Its shape is cylindrical, the crust and the dough are yellow and the taste is increased in intensity with the aging.

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Typical Italian soft cheeses

In these cheeses the percentage of water goes over 45% and, usually, the aging is never high. 

Mozzarella cheese with milk 

Widespread and commonly used, it is a cheese made with whole cow’s milk. It does not have a crust but is wrapped in a thin smooth film. The paste is fibrous and tastes like milk and cream with a sour accent. 

Mozzarella di bufala campana cheese 

This famous cheese is made with fresh buffalo milk which makes it delicious. The protected designation of origin provides that buffaloes are bred only in Campania, in the lower Lazio and in some provinces of Puglia and Molise. 

Robiola 

Originally from Piedmont, Robiola is a soft and short-ripened cheese. It can be made with cow’s milk, goat’s milk, pecorino cheese or mixed and present in cylindrical or square shape. Its taste recalls the taste of milk with a slight bitter accent. 

Squacquerone di Romagna PDO 

Fresh cheese made from whole cow’s milk, its taste is sweet with a slightly acidic scent, very pleasant to the palate. In its region of origin, Emilia-Romagna, forms the perfect match with raw ham inside the famous piada romagnola.

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Gorgonzola PDO 

Originally from Lombardy, Gorgonzola is produced with cow’s milk and has a very creamy texture. Observing it, it is possible to notice some greenish veins due to the process of grassing that is to the formation of moulds. Its taste is strong and slightly spicy. 

The most famous recipes based on typical Italian cheeses 

Listing them all would be impossible: that’s why we have selected five of the most popular recipes based on typical Italian cheeses. 

La caprese, Mediterranean flavor 

A simple recipe to make and very fast but also of great visual effect, nutritious and tasty. Caprese is a typical dish of Italian cuisine, used especially during the summer. 

The ingredients are few and you can prepare it in a few minutes: red tomatoes, milk flowers, oil, salt and, for those who want, oregano or basil. 

To prepare it, simply slice the tomato and the fior di latte and place them on a nice large plate, alternating a slice of tomato with a slice of fior di latte. 

Finally add a little salt, a little oil and basil or oregano, according to your taste.

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The piadina romagnola 

Symbol of Romagna cuisine, the piadina to be stuffed in all ways even though, the most traditional includes raw ham, arugula and squacquerone. 

The most important process is, of course, the cooking of piada: you have to be careful not to cook it too much or too little.

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Gnocchi with cream of gorgonzola 

Potato gnocchi, even better if homemade, are very tasty when paired with gorgonzola cream or even four cheeses. This last recipe, in addition to gorgonzola, includes the addition of Fontina, Emmental and Valtellina casera. A hearty dish, tasty and delicious.

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The fondue of the Valdostana 

A savory dish to which it is not necessary to add salt, the fondue alla Valdostana is made with fontina and is an original dish in which to dip boiled potatoes or crispy bread croutons. To create an original version of this recipe you can add truffle flakes.

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Tortellini in Parmesan cheese cream 

Tortellini, in Bologna, are strictly eaten in broth but over the years the variant with Parmigiano Reggiano cream has won a place in the heart of all, even the most loyal to tradition. The cream of Parmesan cheese gives the tortellino a sweet but firm taste and makes it even more delicious. 

These are just some of the preparations that you can try if you love typical Italian cheeses but there are really many others and we are sure that each of you will find his favorite so, all in the kitchen and enjoy your meal!

Copertina: latenutabianca

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