Friday, July 25, 2008

Italian living at home - Italian cheese clubs

It is hard to get to Italy often enough to satisfy our love of Bell'Italia so bring Italy to you with an Italian Cheese club.

I have been a member of the cheese club offered by Italian Cooking & Living magazine for years and I love it. Each month you get 2 different types of cheese straight from Italy to your doorstep. Membership to the club is free. You then choose between 1/2 pound x 2 cheeses per month or 1 pound x 2 cheeses per month. I get the 1/2 pound and have been very happy with it. In addition to the cheese you get a recipe or two, a write up on the cheese and how it is made and the region it is made. Great stuff.

This is a great site. Shipping to the U.S. is a bit expensive, but if you and some family or friends love Italian cheese go in together. It divides the shipping cost (Cheese is shipped by air from Italy) between you. They help you buy the right amount to capitolize on shipping. The site is well organized by country (if you want to buy French or other European cheeses), by milk type, sharp, sweet, aged, and more. The selection and options are fantastic.
When was the last time you saw Taleggio at your local gourmet store?

A sample from their website:

Taleggio D.O.P. is a soft Italian gourmet cheese that is considered a delicacy when served in many dishes or when served on its own as a delightful Italian taste treat.
It is a gourmet cheese of very old origins, perhaps even before the 10th century. Its regional origin was the Val Taleggio, in the province in Bergamo, from which derives the name of the cheese. Currently the area of production and ripening of the Taleggio cheese is Lombardy, Piedmont and Venetia regions.
The rind of the cheese is thin, and of soft consistency; its color is natural rose-orange, with the presence of a characteristic grey and green light sage color mould. The paste is uniformly compact, softer under the rind and the color changes from white to pale yellow, with some small circles. The taste is sweet, with light acidic vein, slightly aromatic, sometimes with a truffle aftertaste; the odor is characteristic.
Taleggio gourmet cheese should be served to room temperature, to fully display its taste and its aroma. It is not necessary to remove the rind, but it is sufficient to gently scrape it. Most Taleggio cheeses are matured for a minimum of 40 days and in order to comply with US FDA regulation for export to the USA the maturation of our Taleggio cheese has been extended to over 60 days.

Italian wine is easier to come by at your local liquor store. Join a cheese club or buy from to bring a little Italy to your doorstep and enjoy!

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