For those who love cheese, Jan 20th is celebrated as Cheese lovers’ day. The love for cheese is growing in India, faster than before, not as much as the way cheese is used in American and European cuisines. Indian cuisines require malai (cream) in the dishes, but not cheese. I love the spread of cheese that hotels lay out for breakfast/brunch/lunch buffets. The wine and cheese pairing events too are a delight!
For a cheesy morning, I prepare shredded cheese omelet and love cheesecakes for desserts. I also enjoy cheese fondue that makes a perfect date with my wife on chilly winters! Cheese lovers enjoy all the varieties including soft ripened, soft and fresh, semi soft, semi hard, processed, pasta filata, hard as well as blue cheese.
Cheese can be made from buffalo’s milk, sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. Some may say that cheese is bad for health. Eating everything in moderation has its own benefits and cheese too contains a good amount of proteins, Vitamin A, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, and Vitamin B12. Some cheeses are more beneficial to your health than others, particularly when they’re hand-made or traditionally made instead of highly processed. Unfortunately, cheese isn’t easily associated with the health benefits that it carries, which includes cancer prevention, bone strengthening, cavity fighting – Eat it wisely and moderately!!! – That’s the secret of cheese!!
Last week we were invited to try cheese from Italy at Italian Cultural Centre in association with Italian Embassy. Agriform is a co-operative owned and managed by more than 1000 farmers in Italy and is one of the biggest producer of PDO cheeses such as Grana Padano, Asiago, Piave and others. All these cheese have different characters from being hard to semi hard. Born in 1980 in the heart of Northern Italy, Agriform produces, ripens, packages and markets quality cheeses typical of the Veneto and other Italian regions. Foods placed on the market by Agriform are the result of a territory historically dedicated to the production of quality cheese, in strict compliance with the traditional techniques and careful selection. This was followed by dinner curated by Ace Chef Ritu Dalmia and the event was co-hosted by Sourish Bhattacharyya.
More on Protected Designation of Origin
PDO stands for Protected Designation of Origin and is the highest quality level standard in the European Union. It is signified by an easily recognisable red and yellow symbol. The PDO mark identifies a product originating in a specific place, region or country, whose quality or characteristics are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural attributes (raw materials, environmental characteristics and location) and human factors (traditional or artisanal production, processing and preparation processes), which all take place in the defined geographical area and in line with the strict production regulations established.
The products featured in the programme are:
- Grana Padano PDO
- Parmigiano Reggiano PDO
- Piave PDO
- Asiago PDO (in Fresco and Stagionato versions)
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.