All right, then, at the behest of a kind reader who suggested “more, cheese, more wine . . . ” I will start off the day with another cheese review! This is of Robiola, an Italian cheese of mixed milk–cow, goat, and sheep. This also lets me convey some information on the proper way to store a cheese. If you have a soft-ripened cheese, like this Robiola, DO NOT PUT IT IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER. Someone did that at our store, which suffocated the poor thing. Now, it’s running all over, and has lost most of its form. We’ve tried to nurse it back to health by letting it get some air afterward, but there’s no guarantee it will spring back. Indeed, the outside edges have gone completely gooey.
So, first off, here is a picture of what a happy, healthy Robiola should look like. Although the paste is quite creamy, the rind allows the cheese to keep its shape:
However, put that round in an airtight plastic container, and in a couple days, you’ll end up with something like this:
Note how the two pieces toward the bottom have lost all form. They’re just wet, goopy masses. That’s not to say that they don’t taste good anymore, but they should be able to stand on their own.
In any case, notwithstanding the runniness of the paste, I can still do a summary of this cheese, so here we go:
Country of origin: Italy (Lombardy)
Milk: Cow, goat, sheep blend
Age: About 20 days
This triple cream cheese [meaning above 74%] from Italy spells L-U-X-U-R-Y in terms of taste and texture. It is buttery on the tongue, and the blend of milk that goes into this cheese result in a complex, multilayered tasting experience. When I tasted it, apart from feeling the cheese coat the inside of my mouth in velvety goodness, I could taste, in order, the cow milk (the saltiest part), then goat flavor (some tang), then sheep (the grassy, field-fresh taste). If cheese were like wine (and in many ways, it is!), this one would have a long finish.
This is the kind of cheese that would go well with a medium- to full-bodied chardonnay, or maybe a pinot noir, or even a sparkling wine, which would allow the bubbles to play off the saltiness and buttery consistency of the cheese. If you do try it, you need to tell me what wine it was, and how it turned out!