Tuscan food wine and cheeses

Free serving buffet table with Italian cheeses
Free serving buffet table with Italian cheeses

What is best than a Tuscan dinner with good Italian cheeses and with a good glass of Chianti Classico wine? Made of cow’s milk, sheep or goat’s milk, Italian cheeses come of all of shapes and flavors, and at Villa le Barone, we are selecting the best for our guests on the free serving buffet table: parmesan, gorgonzola, pecorino, taleggio… and all of them have the label DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) that certifies the origin of the product.

For Italians, there is no good dinner without cheese, and, at Villa le Barone you will find a good choice of Italian cheeses, from all regions. They are served on the free serving buffet table in our restaurant, and you can savor them either at the beginning of the dinner… or at the end.
Of course, you will find Parmesan (“parmigiano”) the king of the cheeses. Produced in the Parma region, in the northern part of Italy, it is a “grainy” cheese, coming in huge round wheels, in which pieces are cut. A sprinkling of parmesan cheese gives everything a delicious taste, and is used to top pasta. But it is also used in a number of dishes such as “the Parmigiana”, a gratin of eggplant covered with Parmesan cheese.

A very famous cheese from Tuscany is the “Pecorino”, one of Italy’s oldest cheeses that gets its name from the Italian word “pecore”, which means sheep .Earliest records of pecorino cheese production in Tuscany go back to Etruscan and Roman times. You find it soft or dry (“Stagionato”), and served with pears and walnuts or with honey or jam.

Italian cheeses on a Tuscan market
Italian cheeses on a Tuscan market

Gorgonzola is a soft cheese, a specific type of blue cheese prepared with cow milk, and that contain spots or stripes of the mold “Penicillium”. By law (and by tradition!), Gorgonzola is made exclusively with milk from cows raised in Piedmont and Lombardy, around the city of Gorgonzola . Since 1996, Gorgonzola has benefited from the Denomination of Protected Origin (DOP) certification.

Taleggio  is a semisoft, washed-rind, smear-ripened Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio, an Alpine valley in the Italian region of Lombardy.  Traditionally formed in square molds, the cheese has a thin crust and a strong aroma, but its flavor is comparatively mild. The cheese is set on wood shelves in chambers, sometimes in caves as per tradition, and matures within six to ten weeks. It is washed once a week with a seawater sponge to prevent mold growth and to form its typical orange or rose crust.

A delicious dinner with exquisite cheeses and an excellent Chianti Classico in the cheerful restaurant of Villa le Barone, what best?

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