Katie Renner, Cheese Buyer
When I create cheese boards I usually stick to the classic line up: clothbound cheddar, something soft, and something sheep or goat. Having grown tired of this classic (and still tasty) plating affair, I decided to reach out to a cheese that is often overlooked. A good Parmesan, more specifically Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano, has become one of my favorite things to nibble on. The Cravero family has been selecting wheels and aging them in Bra, Italy for five generations. The local forage and pasture that the herds of Fresian cows eat create a flavor profile which is rich with fruity and savory notes. The texture is succulent with that good bite of tyrosine delight.
As of late, my favorite way to devour this baby is to let my piece come up to room temperature and just dive in. This first part is key to any good cheese eating. By letting the cheese warm up, the texture becomes more supple and flavors that would otherwise be masked by the chill of the fridge, will open up. After an hour or so, depending on the size of my hunk, I go for it. The bread, oils, and fruit are all left behind in my frenzy, but if you aren’t ready to make the plunge quite yet, I highly recommend you drizzle some of the 2015 press of the Laudemio olive oil or the Saporoso balsamic from the Malphigi family over the top.
So please, the next time you go to make a cheese plate or a snack, go beyond your usual choices and dive deep into the pool of Parmigiano Reggiano.