Eclectic cheese

The Identità Golose congress hosted four very personal interpretations of this extraordinary ingredient

14-03-2017

Stracchino di Vedeseta was one of the raw milk cheese varieties used by Giuseppe Zen during his lesson (all the photos are from Brambilla / Serrani)

Photogallery

Giuseppe Zen, who was already a real star of Italian regional street food with his Mangiari di Strada, a few months ago conquered the Mercato della Darsena in Milan with a butcher’s shop that only sells grass-fed meat, the smallest self-producing bakery in Europe and Resistenza Casearia, a stand selling solely raw milk cheese. During his lesson, with the usual overflowing eloquence, Zen travelled across many Italian regions presenting sublime tastings as with the Cassata monacale: a sort of primordial version of the great Sicilian dessert, in which ricotta is once again the first, real protagonist
The delicious Soup of ricotta with extra virgin olive oil, pepper and bread Giuseppe Zen offered to the audience of Identità di formaggio
Piedmontese Andrea Ribaldone, who’s soon to open his new gourmet restaurant, focused his lesson on the cheese supplied by Marco Bernini. In his farm, called La Cavarchella in Pozzol Groppo (Alessandria) Bernini creates complex experiments with “blue cheese”, using techniques inspired by beer making. Ribaldone presented a tasting of three different types of cheese respectively paired with grapefruit, avocado and broccoli 

After last year’s successful debut, the 2017 edition of the Identità Golose congress in Milan hosted once again a morning entirely dedicated to the art of cheese making. Identità di Formaggio, which was held at the very beginning of the three-day event, hosted four rather different interpreters of this ingredient.

The extraordinary raw material, which strongly marks Italian regional tradition, has surely one of its most important production areas in Lombardy. This year, Lombardy was our guest region: quoting the Regional assessor for agriculture, Giovanni Fava, some 44% of the national production of milk comes from Lombardy.

Cheese, during this fun morning, was portrayed both starting from its main ingredient, namely milk, in its original pureness and with the declared goal of keeping all its most genuine features, thus presenting raw milk cheese, and as the element of complex recipes, inspired by tradition, and presenting pairings that were once considered impossible, if not sacrilegious.
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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Photogallery

Giuseppe Zen, who was already a real star of Italian regional street food with his Mangiari di Strada, a few months ago conquered the Mercato della Darsena in Milan with a butcher’s shop that only sells grass-fed meat, the smallest self-producing bakery in Europe and Resistenza Casearia, a stand selling solely raw milk cheese. During his lesson, with the usual overflowing eloquence, Zen travelled across many Italian regions presenting sublime tastings as with the Cassata monacale: a sort of primordial version of the great Sicilian dessert, in which ricotta is once again the first, real protagonist
The delicious Soup of ricotta with extra virgin olive oil, pepper and bread Giuseppe Zen offered to the audience of Identità di formaggio
Piedmontese Andrea Ribaldone, who’s soon to open his new gourmet restaurant, focused his lesson on the cheese supplied by Marco Bernini. In his farm, called La Cavarchella in Pozzol Groppo (Alessandria) Bernini creates complex experiments with “blue cheese”, using techniques inspired by beer making. Ribaldone presented a tasting of three different types of cheese respectively paired with grapefruit, avocado and broccoli 
You can read the story of Marco Bernini’s cheese, the topic of Ribaldone’s lesson, in this piece by Carlo Passera
A blue cheese presented by Bernini is grated on endive garnished with grapefruit gel
Philippe Léveillé, from Normandy, in France, moved to Lombardy in 1987 and since 1994 he’s the chef at Miramonti l'Altro in Concesio (Brescia). During his lesson he explained how he followed the inspiration given by Paolo Marchi, who invited him to participate in Identità di Formaggio, offering the stimulus to create unusual and daring pairings. This is how Salato non salato di mare was born, a dish in which seafood is paired with mozzarella, especially its water, used as the salty ingredient in the dish. After the audience of Identità it will conquer his menu too
Salato non salato di mare
Since the edition was dedicated to travel, of course there had to be one of the Italian chefs who, with his travels, especially to the east, has shaped his style of cooking the most. Francesco Apreda, Neapolitan chef at work in Rome at Imago of Hotel Hassler, used the same cheese in two dishes: Pecorino Romano, a tribute to the city where he’s been living for years now. He interpreted his spirit of exploration of Asian flavours with two great Italian traditional dishes. He made a pesto (though of shiso) meet with amatriciana pork jowl, and also interpreted Gnocco alla Romana transforming it into "Asia Express", breading it with panko, enriching it with his famous blends of spices (especially the Bombay mix) and garnishing it with a very colourful garden of fruit and vegetables
Rigatone with shiso pesto, pork jowl and pecorino