A little tired one

by Patrick

It’s always the little tired ones who get eaten first. The blueberry that fell off the bush, the fawn with the broken leg, the cheese with an early expiration date.

Today we made Stracchino, a young, soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese with a little acidic tang. It comes from Lombardia. “If cream cheese were a man, Stracchino would be an angel,” says Michael. He just made that up right now on the spot. It’s an inspiring cheese.

*Historical note: “Stracche” means “tired” in the Lombardian dialect. Stracchino (roughly “little tired one”) is so named because it is traditionally made from the milk of cows descending from the Alps after the long, hard mountain season. Everyone’s beat. It develops quickly and only lasts a short time, so it would never work in summer. Regional variations on Stracchino include Crescenza (from Liguria) and the even wetter Squacquerone (from Emilia-Romagna). Surprisingly, Gorgonzola also used to be considered ‘stracchino,’ only later taking on the name of the Lombardian town where people got good at inoculating it with blue molds. (Thanks to Michael for this.)

Below are the basic steps for making Stracchino. Actually, the very important adding of ferments and rennet are omitted through sheer negligence.  If you are interested in trying it at home, which you should totally do this winter, contact Michael and me for more details (rennet type, temperatures, times, etc.)

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2 Responses to “A little tired one”

  1. Alessandra Says:

    The world is very interesting and quite small.
    I am an italian who went to school in Moretta (corso latte) and now live in the USA, in North Carolina, making cheese.
    I love your blog. You made me home-sick. I am leaving today for Italy to visit my family in Pinerolo (not far from Moretta).
    If you are around I’ll love to meet you and have a very traditional piedmontese meal together.
    Hope to meet you
    Best wishes for 2010
    Alessandra

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