the Italian issue

Stocking the italian pantry

Mortadella , a must-have for muffalettas, is made with finely ground lean pork shoulder, leg and belly.It is slow roasted with pork jowl, which gives it those white specks, nutmeg, cinnamon and whole black peppercorns. CHARCUTERIE Charcuterie (pronounced shar-koot-er- ee) is a common antipasto in Italy. When building your charcuterie plate, use a mixture of cooked and dry-cured meats and cheese. Provide something briny and tangy like pickled vegetables, olives or pepperoncinis, which pair well with bold meats. Add spreadable chutneys, candied fruit, fresh fruit or sweet jams to balance the dry and salty meat and cheese. Include softer options like pâté, terrines and rillettes (shredded, cooked pork mixed with pork fat) as counterpoints to harder sausages, and mustard as an accompaniment. Serve with crusty bread, crackers, crostini or breadsticks. Look for Columbus premium Italian-style meats in our Deli. CHEESE Asiago is a mild cow’s milk cheese made in the Italian province of Vicenza. It has a light yellow butter coloring with tiny round holes, or “eyes.” Fresh Asiago cheese is a smooth “table cheese,” meaning it’s meant to be eaten raw, not cooked. Aged asiago (Asiago d’Allevo) is hard and sharp and primarily used for grating. Fontina, also called Fontina Val d’Aosta after the Italian valley from which it comes, is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese ideal for melting. Gorgonzola is a blue-vein cow’s milk cheese with a lightly pungent flavor named after a village outside Milan where it was originally produced. Young gorgonzola is creamy and has a soft-ripened texture similar to Brie or Camembert; aged gorgonzola is harder and crumblier. Mozzarella is a fresh semi-soft Italian cheese made from cow’s milk. Authentic buffalo mozzarella is made from the milk of the Italian water buffalo. Burrata is mozzarella cheese filled with cream and soft, stringy mozzarella curds. Break the shell, and the filling pours out. Parmesan is a hard, sharp, dry Italian grating cheese made from skimmed or partially skimmed cow’s milk. Parmigiano-Reggiano, often called Parmesan, is Italy’s preeminent version. It takes its name from the cities

T raditional Italian dry-cured sausages aren’t cooked; instead, they are air dried then aged in a cool, humid place. Calabrese is a ruby red, spicy, southern Italian salami made from whole cuts of pork, crushed red pepper and red bell peppers. Rougher textured, chewy soppressata is made with a coarser grind and a variety of seasonings depending on the region. Soppressata made with garlic, fennel, oregano and basil has a pepperoni- like flavor. Try it on pizza. Genoa salami is an American creation.The meat and fat are finely ground, and there are fewer flecks of fat. Cotto , a northwest Italian salami, is unusual in that it is cooked or smoked after

curing (cotto means cooked). It is a great substitute for prosciutto . Cotto is mild in flavor, made with chopped pork, cracked peppercorns, garlic and spices. Italian prosciutto is the most famous cured ham in the world. There are two types of prosciutto, crudo (raw) and cotto , which has been cooked after drying. Every region in Italy makes prosciutto, but Parma is the most famous. Prosciutto di Parma, or Parma ham, is salted and air-dried for 8 to 24 months. Like prosciutto, speck is made from the hind of the leg, though the leg is boned before curing. Speck is deeply red and has a firmer texture than prosciutto.



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