Need a new cheese for cooking? For blending with other cheese in sauces or fondutas? Try Raschera. In Piedmont, it is a popular cheese for cooking as well as for eating in its natural state accompanied with honey. Given the D.O.P. certification, Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta or Protected Designation of Origin, Raschera is guaranteed to be made in the valleys around Mondovi in Cuneo Province, Piedmont. Regulations state the cheese must consist of milk from Bruno-Alpina or Piemontese cows, although addition of ewe’s or goat’s milk may be added. The milk must come from one or two milkings on the same day. It is aged for a minimum of 20 days and sometimes up to 3 months. The young cheese is ivory-white in color, is semi-firm yet a bit supple and has a buttermilk aroma. More mature version is darker in color, more like straw yellow and has irregular holes. Being firm, it is good for grating and slicing and offers a tang with each bite.
Regardless of aging, Raschera is extremely creamy and pleasing when eaten. Such a good blending cheese, it possesses great adaptability for cooking. It stores well in the refrigerator making it easy to add as an accent to dishes. Raschera has wonderful “meltability” making it ideal for a cream sauce or as a filling for pasta. It can be added to mac-and-cheese or as topping for baked vegetables or baked potatoes. Next time you make a grilled cheese sandwich layer your favorite cheese with some Raschera for a delicious treat.