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Popular Italian Cheeses

By Editorial Staff

italian cheeseby Info Guru Angela Bushong

Italy is famous for its rich legacy of fine cheese making.

If you want to begin an exploration into the vast and wonderful world of Italian cheese, these ten are a good place to start.

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10. Fiore Sardo

Fiore Sardo

Fiore Sardo is a classic Italian hard cheese whose history dates back to ancient Rome. Made from sheep’s milk, it is smoked and then aged 3 – 8 months. This is a strong flavored cheese, with fruity overtones, and works well for grating or sliced and served with fruit.

9. Taleggio


Taleggio is soft and spreadable, similar to French brie, but with an earthier flavor. This is a great one to serve with bread or crackers as a party appetizer.

8. Asiago


Asiago is a very sharp hard cheese, made famous on this side of the pond for its inclusion in breads and bagels. Its versatility makes it a great table cheese, as well, and is well suited to grating and melting.

7. Gorgonzola


Gorgonzola is a soft Italian blue cheese with a mild flavor. Many people enjoy Gorgonzola crumbled on salads and served sliced as a table cheese.

6. Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano

This is considered an essential kitchen cheese, a must for many Italian pasta dishes. Pecorino Romano is another hard sheep’s milk cheese aged to perfection.

5. Ubriaco


Here is a truly decadent cheese, intended to be eaten all alone. Ubriaco is semi-firm and made from raw cow’s milk. It is then steeped in Chianti when it is young, lending the creamy cheese a sweet, complex flavor.

4. Aged Provolone

Aged Provolone

Aged provolone is a sharp table cheese and a star in any Italian deli. Salty, slightly oily, and delicious, provolone works well for any occasion, from casual to formal. This is essential Italian.

3. Fontina


Known by many as the Italian melting cheese, Fontina has a deep, woodsy flavor which pairs well with meats and is standard in many recipes.

2. Bufala Mozzarella

Bufala Mozzarella

Bufala Mozzarella is a fresh buffalo milk mozzarella. It is eaten raw, alone or in salads or served up on crusty bread. Creamy and springy, this one is always a treat.

1. Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmigiano Reggiano

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The ultimate Italian cheese, no kitchen should be without a true Parmigiano Reggiano. This is what you grate on top of your salads and spaghetti. This is the rind you drop in your slow-simmered minestrone, and this is the special little touch you add to your sliced cheese trays. Knock-offs abound, but there is nothing as good as the real thing.


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