Italian cheeses have and continue to rule the world, and rightfully so, are protected to showcase their unique qualities. PDO, or Protected Designation of Origin, signifies the legitimacy of more exclusive makes of cheese. Just like champagne’s AOC, cheese also has protected origin certifications, so you know you’re eating the real thing. Cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano, some provolone, and Fontina Val D’Aosta are all PDO–certified in Italy.
Because of the biological diversity of Italy, the range of cheese production is wide. From Alpine cheeses, to grating style and bloomy rind cheeses, Italy has it all.
Fontina Val D’Aosta
A well-known Italian Alpine cheese. Originating from the Valle D’Aosta region in Northern Italy, true Fontina Val d’Aosta is a shining star amongst non-certified “Fontina” cheeses. Great for melting, or finishing pizzas or frittatas, or to elevate baked mac n cheese.
“Everybody’s cheese”. Named after the valley where this soft cheese was first made: the Taleggio valley in Italy’s Lombardy region. This mild-pasted cheese takes on a strong flavor with the rind. A classic Italian smear-ripened cheese with a pungent rind, so you know it’s good! Taleggio is delicious numerous ways. Try smearing on ciabatta or melted onto mushroom pasta dishes.
Aged Mountain Gorgonzola
Italy’s version of blue cheese, named after the town of Gorgonzola, where cows would journey between feeding pastures. Farmers started taking advantage of the surplus milk and created cheese with local strains of Penicillum Glaucum, a mold found in the area. Featuring beautiful, deep-colored veins, gorgonzola is often milder than blue cheese. This aged version provides a full-bodied flavor that is both assertive and robust and pairs perfectly with sweet honey and fig jam on your cheese plate.
This classic Sardinian sheep’s milk cheese dates back to ancient Rome. Originally this cheese was made by sheep farmers in the Lazio region of Italy, but now the island of Sardinia is considered the “Capital of Pecorino Romano”. Why? It’s simple – more sheep and more sheep’s milk. Sheep outnumber people in Sardinia by over 1 million! A traditional Italian grating cheese, Pecorino Romano is earthy, salty and full-flavored. A little bit goes a long way – this is a great cheese to have in your fridge to grate on top of dishes any day of the year.
Our cheesemonger’s Italian cheese of choice! A bloomy, soft cheese made from cow, goat and sheep’s milk. This cupcake-sized wheel of cheese is made in Northern Italy’s Alba region. La Tur has an incredibly complex flavor resulting from the interplay of three milks, and is layered with texture, beyond the simple paste-and-rind layers. Try this Italian soft cheese in the middle of a snacking board with Amarena cherries on top.