Cheese (or “formaggio”) is one of the wonders of Italian cuisine and there are over 450 varieties to choose from. For thousands of years, Italian producers have mixed together milk, salt and rennet, and bred cows, sheep and goats to come up with dazzling creations. Nowadays, every region seems to have its own specialities, and the range of tastes and textures is huge. From cheeses that can be made in days such as mascarpone, to varieties that mature for over a year, Italy’s artisan cheesemakers are master craftsmen, adding a touch of magic to everything they make.
Take a tour of Italy’s finest cheeses with Eataly Arabia
Italian cheeses can be broadly divided into varieties from the northern “mountains” and those from the southern “lowlands”, and each region has distinct characteristics. Northern Italy produces nutty cheeses like Fontina or varieties with intense tastes like the famous blue cheese gorgonzola. As you move south, you encounter creamy cheeses like ricotta, along with pungent hard cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano. And in southern regions like Puglia, even creamier cheeses like burrata. At Eataly Arabia, you can taste them all.
Match wonderful cheeses with the perfect partner
Exploring Italian cheese is a true delight for gourmet food lovers, but it’s even more enjoyable when you pair up particular cheeses with the right accompaniments. That’s because Italian cheeses are rarely meant to be enjoyed on their own. Instead, they are intended to work in tandem with other foodstuffs, creating irresistible combinations in the process. But with so many types of cheese on offer it can be tough to know exactly where to start. Don’t worry though: we can suggest the ideal match-ups. In the meantime, let’s run through a few popular combinations that you’ll find on dinner tables across Italy.
How to find the right match for soft Italian cheeses
Firstly, if you’re a fan of softer Italian cheeses, it tends to be a good idea to match them up with fruits and sweet products. For instance, ricotta is commonly blended with honey and berries to create a refreshing breakfast or healthy dessert. As you may know, mozzarella harmonises beautifully with San Marzano tomatoes, basil and olive oil. And if you love blue cheese, gorgonzola is a wonderful pairing for pears, while taleggio works well with mustard.
Discover the ideal companions for Italian hard cheeses
Hard cheeses from Italy have their own perfect partners. If you love Parmigiano Reggiano, for example, you can pair it up with a balsamic vinegar drizzle to create a typical snack from Emilia-Romagna. Shavings of Grana Padano make a fine partner for artichokes, while salty pecorino cheese and fava beans are the basis for an incredibly simple, totally delicious salad. And last, but not least, for a classic Mediterranean burst of flavour, just stuff some figs with goat’s cheese and sprinkle some chopped walnuts, then bake them until the cheese begins to melt.
Visit Eataly Arabia to gorge on delicious Italian cheese
At Eataly Arabia stores, we stock all of these superb cheeses, from leading artisan producers. And we also stock all of the companion ingredients you need to enjoy every cheese at its best. Just pay us a visit, enjoy a few tasters and ask our staff for their ideas, and you can fill your fridge with some of the finest cheeses the world has to offer!