Wonderful, Fresh Cheese
In Italy, the cheese comes from the store in small plastic tubs (to contain its very moist self) or in a VakPak. It is so moist it just wants to 'ooze' out of itself. This is part of the joy of this cheese. It is even moister than the moistest Boconccini, yet it still retains enough structure to be sliced, and yet be easily spreadable.
Many say that it has a mild flavor, but with a good quality milk it is a showcase for the wonderful fresh flavors and aromas from the farm.
This, combined with the balance of lactic flavor from the culture and that wonderful mouthful of moisture, marks it as one amazing cheese in our kitchen lately.
My favorite description for this cheese comes from an online piece in " Italy Magazine" by Carla Passino :
"It tastes as pre-dawn light should: soft beyond softness, enveloping, barely sweet. And just after I have taken in the gentle aroma of milk, just after it coats my mouth, Crescenza shows its mettle with a persistence that speaks of yogurt and grass. Its a triumph of mildness, a proof that less is indeed more, a celebration of barely-there flavours, which cling to the tastebuds with the tenacity of a dying breed."
If this doesn't sell you on making cheese I am tossing in my cheese hat.
Crescenza is best served at room temperature or cooked in a recipe.
It spreads nicely on crackers, crostini or fresh bread with fruit. It also works well melted on grilled sandwiches and in cream sauce over pasta. For something different, use Stracchino in common recipes like macaroni and cheese, quiche and omelets, either by itself or mixed with other cheeses.
Perhaps just add a little olive oil and cracked pepper or favorite herb mix, maybe small bits in your salad as you would with chevre, even adding it to your eggs or polenta just before the final stirring.
In Italy it can be found on the table just plain or spread on a fresh baked slice of bread. It might also show up under the folds of a focaccia as small little melted pillows. But best of all, just eat it!
Yesterday for lunch, it was the cheese for my Turkey sandwich.