What is aging to perfection inside this intriguing cabbage wrapper? A wonderful goat cheese called Robiola di Capra Incavolata from the Italian Piedmont region.
On a recent visit to South End Formaggio, I asked the cheesemonger what was really special in the case that day and he was quick to point out a fully ripened half wheel of this beauty. Formaggio says this cheese is really special when it's ripe. In their cheese notes they say:
"As it ages, the cheese starts to mellow and through contact with the leaves, it develops an vegetal strength in its aroma and flavor. At its ripest, it oozes out through the leaves. If you're lucky enough to get one at this stage, serve it up on a sloped plate to catch all the gooey goodness."
The cabbage was no longer green and the cheese inside was runny and full flavored. We spread it on the our favorite Sardinian Parchment Crackers and savored each bite.
The label from Formaggio said it was a mixture of goat and cow, but most of what we've found about this cheese says it is goat. No matter, it is delicious and it has introduced us to a full range of Robiola cheese variations that we will now explore.
Here is a great article about this cheese from Janet Fletcher at SFGate. We are big fans of her cheese coverage. Cabbage leaf a nice cheese-wrapping resource.
What's on your Cheese shopping list? Here are some great books about cheese. These make wonderful gifts for a cheese lover. And, when you shop Amazon from here, they put some coins in our tip jar.
Words: Penny Cherubino
Photography: © 2008-2014 Penny & Ed Cherubino, Top photo photo courtesy of Formaggio Kitchen.