Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Whole Foods Italian Cheese Class

The Italian-themed cheese class at Whole Foods (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com) started off right with its first cheese, and my first love, Parmigiano-Reggiano. To me, it should have been the big finish since it has such a strong flavor when eaten whole and goes best with a dry, red wine.

The order of the cheeses was actually a little bit out of order if you ask me. The next cheese was very similar, San Pietro, but still milder so it was paired with a Pinot instead.

After that, we tried two kinds of Gorganzola…I had no idea there was more than one! The Dolce version was a little more sweeter and creamier than the Naturale. Gorganzola is the traditional blue cheese of Italy, named after the town with the same name. These strong cheeses were paired with Chianti, which was equally strong enough to stand up to these blues.

We went from one extreme to the next as we tasted my second favorite of the night, Taleggio. It’s soft and creamy, like a brie, so it was paired with an acidic, sharp Greek wine called Elios to help cut the buttery flavor.

The last cheese was a fancy truffled semi-soft cheese called Sottocenere, which was paired with a dry sparkling wine. The pairing was quite rich altogether!

Special thanks to Ellen, who not only brought a starter wine for the entire class as usual, but she also provided an olive tray as well as biscotti for dessert!

I also learned that the next seafood class is Tuesday, June 7th!