One of the very nicest things about the days we work in our little warehouse, picking and packing products to send out to our deli customers or our online shoppers, is the aroma that fills our cold store: the sweet earthy smell of good salumi and fine cheeses. Because we stock all our cheeses and salumi in the piece and slice and cut to order, the old cold store door gets opened quite a lot, and with each opening a little delicious pungency escapes to tempt us. The best days of all are those when fresh deliveries of cured meats and cheeses arrive, because then we get to spend time unpacking, checking and putting everything in its rightful place on the shelves. And, of course, sniffing!
Today was a cheese day. We like cheese days. Here’s Danilo casting his experienced eye over a whole pecorino sardo: a lovely mature sheep’s milk cheese with a hard texture and an earthy flavour. But our favourite today is the delicious taleggio DOP which we source from our selected producer Ciresa, in Lombardia, a cheese-producing family since 1927. Our taleggio comes in great creamy-yellow square slabs, like building blocks, the rind mottled with a harmless dusting of white mold. The cheese inside is straw-coloured and fragrant. When it’s young the flavour is buttery, sweet and delicate, developing increasing tanginess as it matures. This is one of our most versatile cheeses – delicious on the cheese board, but also wonderful in salads, stirred through risotto, sliced and melted over polenta or in a frittata. You can find it here in our shop. Now of course we had to try our new arrival, so lunch today was taleggio melted over some bruschetta and topped with a few pan fried mushrooms. Simple, and delicious. It certainly brought a cheesy grin to our faces.