Italian cheese is a collection of cheeses that are originated in different parts of Italy. The cheese of Italy is basically made up of cow or sheep’s milk. The texture and the color of this cheese depend upon the process and milk used in the preparation. In daily Italian meals, an assortment of dishes are present that includes different types of cheese, hence Italian cheese recipe are quite popular in the country.
Not only Italian cuisine make good use of cheese produced in the country, but this cheese enjoys a high position in the category of cheeses prevailing around the world. From pizza to pasta, Italian cheese has many culinary uses in the various ethnicities of the world.
Asiago, fontina, mascarpone and mozzarella are some of the popular varieties of Italian cheese.
History and Origin of Italian Cheese
The origin of Italian cheese is quite murky, but there are few varieties that has a historical background that dates back 2000 years ago. There are at least 450 varieties of cheese produced in Italy and most of them are listed under the category of ‘protected designation of Origin’, set by the European commission.
Parmesan cheese that is regarded the “King of the Italian cheeses” is said to be originated in Italy in Medieval times and has been mentioned by many poets and diarist in their fictions and articles. The most popular cheese in the time of Romans was ‘pecorino Romano’ that was prepared with sheep’s milk.
Culinary Uses of Italian Cheese
Italian cheese has varied culinary uses in the form of sauces and stuffing. Even grated cheese is a very popular ingredient in various dishes served in world cuisine. Dessert dishes and various types of sweet dishes such as puddings, cakes, tarts and pies make good use of cheeses produced in Italy. Italian cheese recipes are also popular as snacks and main dishes.
Pasta, pizza, salads, dips and even soups are some of the most popular Italian cheese recipes. Sausages, burgers, cutlets and sandwiches are fondly stuffedwith Italian cheese to give a creamy and rich flavor to the dish. This cheese can also be combined with nuts and dry fruits to make nice munchies. Baked dishes such as lasagna, fondues and quesadillas are some of the popular dishes that extensively use cheese.
Cuisines Commonly Making Italian Cheese Recipes
Italian cuisine is evidently popular for using Italian cheese in making various dishes. Apart from this cuisine, other European cuisines as well as American cuisine is famous for making extensive use of Italian manufactured cheese.
In other parts of the world as well, Italian cheese recipes are quite famous.
Popular Methods of Making Italian Cheese Recipes
- Grating – Grated Italian cheese is a nice topping for pizza pasta many soup dishes.
- Melting – Melted cheese is fondly added in making lasagna, fondue and casserole dishes.
- Stuffing – Cheese slices or cheese spread are popularly used for stuffing purposes. Grated cheese is also stuffed in various meats and other dishes.
Nutritive Value of Italian Cheese Recipes
Being a dairy product, Italian cheese is full of protein and calcium. It helps in development of bones and teeth. Though cheese is regarded a calorific food item, but it has immense nutritional value. This cheese also helps in digestion and prevents constipation. Eye sight can also be prevented with the regular consumption of Italian cheese recipes.
Types of Italian Cheese
There are around 450 popular varieties of Italian cheese and here are some of the popular types:
- Asiago – This is the finest variety of cheese made from cow’s milk. It is hard in texture with a pungent taste.
- Ricotta – It is actually not a cheese but a by product of cheese that is widely used in Italian cheese recipes.
- Mascarpone – The vital ingredient in Tiramisu, mascarpone is a luscious variety of cheese.
Other varieties include mozzarella, Parmigiano and gorgonzola.