|Delizioso BelGioioso Cheeses: Mascarpone, Ricotta, Romano, Parmesan, Pizza Blend, and Mozzarella.|
You know what my kids and I enjoy most about this blog? All the wonderful Italian or Italian-American products we are blessed to taste-test or try out. Chef Bretto has a fondness for sampling food/ingredients and dreaming up his next creation in our
kitchen culinary studio.
Today’s review is for BelGioioso Award-Winning, Italian-American Cheeses. It won’t be complete for at least another week, as we keep trying out the cheeses in various dishes. However, I can tell you, we have immensely enjoyed all the cheeses. They are fantastico! Perfect creaminess, texture, and flavors as they should be.
Let’s get this ball of mozzarella rolling. We have on the sampling block:
Mascarpone – Fresh, soft cheese with a sweet, creamy flavor. Think of it as the more delizioso version of cream cheese. BelGioioso was the first American company to manufacture this Italian specialty cheese over here. I use it in my Amaretto Boston Cream Tiramisu recipe.
Ricotta con Latte – Soft, fresh cheese with a creamy, mild and clean flavor. Some Americans try to substitute cottage cheese for this, but it never works in my book. They simply don’t compare in texture or flavor. We use ricotta in our lasagna and cannolis.
Pecorino Romano – Hard cheese with a robust flavor. I have come to lust for this cheese in most dishes where I had traditionally used Parmigiano (Parmesan). If I am going to grate Parmesan into the sauce, then I will grate Romano as well. Because it is sharper, it does not require as much as if one tried to flavor a sauce with only Parmesan.
Parmesan – Hard table cheese with a full, nutty flavor. In Italian-American restaurants, this is the cheese the chef brings out and grates freshly onto your meal (Italians do not use it in this manner traditionally). I use it in almost any Italian dish which incorporates cheese, which includes my meatballs, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, alfedo sauce, pizza, etc.
Pizza Blend – Savory combination of mild and sharp, robust flavors. This is a specialty mix of Romano, Fontina, and Provolone (mild). I love adding this to my pizzas. Mozzarella and Parmesan were my old standbys. Then one day, Giada went on about loving Fontina on top of pizza. And the rest is history! I believe this combo sprinkled on top of whole milk Mozzarella and Parmesan make for the most delectable flavored cheesy pizza.
Fresh Mozzarella – Soft cheese with a delicate, milky flavor. When I eat a sandwich, I do not want the cheese to overpower my meat and I like it to be soft and enhance my flavor sensation. This cheese is perfect for my very favorite sandwich in the world: Panino alla Margherita (Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil). I even added some to my uncured Niman Ranch Pastrami sandwich and found it to be another pairing I like very much. Of course Mozzarella is used in many of my recipes as well. And it is one of those cheeses, that is so enjoyable to just snack on by itself, anytime. Because it is not an intense flavor, it works even in the morning.
Of course I am hoping to try more of their cheeses in my cooking soon. But I have to tell you that I am so grateful that BelGioioso has made enjoying Italian cheese and my cooking adventures affordable and convenient.
If I could request a cheese from them, it would be that they would produce Smoked Ricotta. As it is, I have to make my own from their Ricotta. They make Ricotta Salata, which would be of the same texture, but not the same flavor.
This coming week, as I post some of the recipes we used with the BelGioioso cheeses, I will add them to this page, as well.