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Flavor, Variety and Tradition: The Wonders of European Cheeses
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Flavor, Variety and Tradition: The Wonders of European Cheeses
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • December 11, 2019, 10:50
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Cheese is a versatile, extraordinary and inspirational ingredient for any passionate cook.

Europe has an ancient cheese-making scene that is considered one of the richest and most original in the world. Its numerous milk-based traditional specialties are unique treasures that encapsulate the excellence of European food and agriculture. They are renowned not only due to their variety, quality and wholesome ingredients, but also because of their incomparable, inimitable flavors. All sorts of breeds of cattle and sheep feed on hay from pastures and types of grass that vary from one production zone to the next. This gives a delightful, natural aromatic complexity to the milk, which is then masterfully processed in order to offer wonderful pleasures for the palate.

A variety of flavors are unleashed in each slice of cheese thanks to a wide range of production techniques, the maturing procedures and the use of different types of milk (which can be from cows, sheep, goats, buffaloes or mixed).

The European Union recognize its gastronomic heritage, the diversity, distinctiveness and origins of its products, with strict quality systems. Specific logos are used, such as the “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) label, which appears on food to show that it has typical characteristics resulting from its place of origin and that all of the production stages take place in a clearly defined area using acclaimed skills and local ingredients. The distinctive logo helps consumers recognize PDO products easily. The labeling scheme protects consumers from imitations, fraud and counterfeiting.

Enjoyable, flavorsome, mild or mature, soft, creamy or crumbly -- tasting cheese is an enthralling experience steeped in amazing sensations. Some of the most sophisticated and popular European dairy products are made in Italy. Among them are Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO, Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO, Grana Padano PDO, Pecorino Romano PDO, Pecorino Toscano PDO, Gorgonzola PDO and Squacquerone di Romagna PDO. They are perfect for daily occasions and special events outside of routine consumption.

Cheese is a versatile, extraordinary and inspirational ingredient for any passionate cook, lovely solo and even as a cooking ingredient. The unique characteristics of an individual cheese (or combinations of) can transform the simplest recipes, contributing complex flavors and desirable texture to both savory and sweet dishes.

With a long tradition over 699 Italian farmers, GRANLATTE is the largest association of milk producers in Italy and together with GRANAROLO GROUP represent the most important Italian milk production chain based on an integrated system of production. Fresh milk in expert hands is transformed into unique products full of taste and aroma, appreciated all around the world.

GRANLATTE company operates in the agricultural sector responsible for milk collection, and Granarolo S.p.A., a limited company, processes and markets the final product through 18 production sites located all over Italy. Granarolo Group controls all the phases of process to guarantee quality-centric production: from the production of the raw materials to the distribution of the products to the point of sales.

Granarolo’s cheese products:

■ Mozzarella

Mozzarella is an Italian classic cheese made with cow’s milk and it has a distinctive milky aroma and pearly white colour. It is soft, and slightly springy in texture, with a sweet, delicate flavor.

■ Mascarpone

Mascarpone cheese is produced from dairy cream, principally from the milk of cows and buffaloes. The flavor is mild and buttery with a subtle acidic finish, and it is fresh and creamy in consistency. Being especially sugar-free, Mascarpone cheese is an ideal ingredient in a vast array of sweet or savory recipes.

■ Parmigiano Reggiano PDO

Parmigiano Reggiano PDO is renowned as one of Italy’s finest PDO-certified cheeses made from the highest-quality raw cow’s milk according to a traditional process and without the use of additives or preservatives. It is a hard cheese with a crumbly, grainy texture that is aged slowly for a minimum of 12 months.

■Ricotta

Italian Ricotta cheese is made from milk whey. It has a mildly sweet taste, a soft texture and it is characterized by fine, delicate granules. Granarolo’s Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) technology allows ricotta to be individually frozen in small-sized packages, preserving quality and giving unparalleled convenience to end-users, as the product maintains its characteristics for a long period of time.

■Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO

Granarolo Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO is a fresh mozzarella made with buffalo milk for a more distinctive and authentic flavour.

■Stracchino

Stracchino is one of the most traditional Italian spreadable cheeses. It was born in Lombardy and is found mostly in Northern Italy. It is made with fresh whole milk and it has calf rennet. Stracchino is a very soft, creamy and tasty cheese, with no rind and a slightly acidic tang.