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12 Days of Cheese

December 20, 2014 -

The holidays are meant to be spent with family, friends and cheese. Here are 12 Italian cheeses that will be very popular at your holiday festivities.

1. Fresh Mozzarella
This soft and delicate cheese is perfect in an appetizer like Tomatoes Caprese  – freshly sliced tomatoes, red onions, fresh basil, balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil and salt and pepper. Fresh Mozzarella also makes a delicious pizza topper. In fact, if you ever go to Italy and order a cheese pizza this is what you’ll get.Fresh Mozzarella

2. Whole Milk Mozzarella
This type of mozzarella cheese is actually not available in Italy. It’s an American variation, and you’ll most likely find it on any American cheese pizza. While it may not be the fanciest, you can never really go wrong with pizza.
Whole Milk Mozzarella

3. Fontina
This cheese is very rich, creamy and dense. We’d suggest incorporating it into a macaroni and cheese-esque dish like our Conchiglie Ai Formaggi. You can also use it as a topper or stuffer for protein dishes, such as our Pollo Sorrento or Pollo Rosa Maria.
Fontina

4. Romano Vaccino
This cheese can have many variations depending on whether it’s prepared from cow, sheep or goat’s milk. Romano Vaccino is prepared from cow’s milk, and we use it in a lot of our oven-baked dishes like Lasagne and Baked Ravioli Parmesan.
Romano-v1

5. Parmesan
Probably the most famous and well-known cheese on our list. It can be used in salad dressings, soups, risottos, and sauces like Alfredo. It also makes an excellent dish topper so when in doubt, just put parmesan on it.Parmesan

6. Goat Cheese
Now this isn’t necessarily an Italian cheese, but it is definitely a cheese worth mentioning. Plus, we use it on one of our most classic dishes – Chicken Bryan. You can serve it simply with crackers or get a little fancy and try it with diced tomatoes on breaded eggplant.
GoatCheese-v1

7. Ricotta
Good old fashioned Ricotta is a creamy, fluffy cheese. You may be most familiar with it when it comes to dishes like lasagne , baked ziti, or our amazing Mezzaluna pasta.
Ricotta

8. Ricotta Salata
Ricotta Salata is an Italian imported cheese that has a firm and salty taste; salata actually means salted in Italian. You can use this cheese to top dishes like bruschetta, salads like our Johnny Rocco  or pastas like our Rigatoni Martino.
Ricotta Salata

9. Mascarpone
Italians use this cheese like butter. It’s super creamy and the flavor is very light. Plus, it’s about half the calories of regular butter and low in salt. You may be familiar with this cheese as it’s an ingredient of a famous Italian dessert called Tiramisu.
Mascarpone

10. Gorgonzola
A veined Italian blue cheese that has quite the bite. This is another great one to eat just by itself, with crackers or on top of a salad or protein.
Gorgonzola

11. Burrata
This is a new cheese that we’ve started playing with in our kitchen. On the outside it looks very similar to mozzarella, but when you cut it open, you’ll notice it oozes a buttery cream. A simple use for Burrata is to substitute it for mozzarella in a Tomatoes Caprese dish.

Burrata

Would you add any other cheeses to our list? If so, comment below with them! There’s no such thing as too much cheese.