Inquirer.net’s Paolo Prieto and Italians Gabriele Boschi and Alessandro Ciuti took their love of cheese seriously by forming a company called Naturasì.
Naturasì has an Italian cheesemaker who sources the ingredients directly from Italy.
Its cheese-making process combines ancient handmade tradition with modern technology. The fresh, high-quality cheese products are available only via phone orders (tel. 0915-3400767).
The idea to make and sell cheese started when the business partners were creating their own mozzarella to put into their pizza.
Apparently pleased with the results, they went on to develop other soft cheeses such as burrata, fresh mozzarella, cherry mozzarella, stracciatella, provola and treccia.
How to serve
Now imagine if you, too, can serve these Italian cheeses at a gathering or party.
Here are tips and serving suggestions:
Slice mozzarella and arrange on a serving platter, alternately with sliced plump tomatoes. Season with sea salt and pepper. Lay some anchovy fillets on top of the mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with some fresh basil and oregano.
You can also make a simple mozzarella cheese sandwich with good bread and some olive oil. Add prosciutto and basil.
Or slice the mozzarella and arrange it on a platter with prosciutto over arugula and drizzle with balsamic cream.
Marinate in olive oil, a bit of sea salt and soft herbs. Mix a few slices of cherry tomatoes before serving.
Add mozzarella to any of your salad preparations.
You may also shape it as balls, halved over crusty bread, drizzled in olive oil and toasted until melted, then top with tomatoes or preferred cold cuts.
Personally, I like snacking on mozzarella plain, as is. Delicious.
There are many things one can do with burrata or fresh Italian cow’s milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream.
What I like best is to put it over a bed of arugula, drizzled with balsamic cream. Add some prosciutto, tomatoes or pepper jam.
To make the jam:
Put 200 g of sliced cherry tomatoes or 200 g of diced red bell peppers in a saucepan.
Add ½ c sugar, 1-2 tbsp wine vinegar, pinch of sea salt, pepper and chili flakes.
Optional: Add rosemary and thyme. With bell peppers, add 1/3 c water. With tomatoes, ¼ c water.
Cook until consistency is like jam. Then add 1 tbsp butter. You may also add basil.
Another way to serve
burrata is with strawberries, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It goes well with all sorts of salads.
Stracciatella or shredded cheese is another personal favorite.
Pour good quality olive oil over this delicate, creamy curd and enjoy it with crusty bread, salt and pepper.
Sometimes I just spoon stracciatella from its tub and put it in hot pan de sal.
It can also serve as a topping for pasta or even as sauce.
Put butter in a pan, add straciatella, some parmesan and salt. Heat until it melts with sauce-like consistency, and toss in pasta.
You can also spread it over salad, along with fresh fruits over the bed of greens.
Treccia is a braided version mozzarella which looks beautiful on a cheese platter or over salads. Serve with greens, prosciutto and tomatoes. I like it with grilled eggplant, drizzled with balsamic cream and olive oil.
Provola is a semisoft white cheese with a texture similar to that of a firm, dry mozzarella. It’s hung on strings, left to ripen for two weeks, and has a nice chew.
Slice and arrange provola with nuts and dried fruit on a cheese board.
Provola, which has excellent melting qualities, is best for grilling or baking. It’s perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches and baked pasta. I love it with ham and cheese.
This is a traditional brick of mozzarella made from 100-percent cow’s milk. It’s ideal for slicing, melting and shredding.
To store cheeses, keep them in the refrigerator but do not freeze.
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