Appreciating Italian Cheese: From Burrata to Pecorino with Rachel Erdman - Context Travel

Appreciating Italian Cheese: From Burrata to Pecorino with Rachel Erdman


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Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 1:00 PM EDT
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Come learn about the most important Italian cheeses, including origins, production methods, flavor profiles, and serving tips.

There is no doubt that cheese plays a fundamental role in Italian cuisine. Authentic pizza Napoletana without fresh mozzarella? Spaghetti alla Carbonara without sharp Pecorino Romano? However, with over 400 types of recognized cheeses in Italy, making an informed selection at the cheese shop or deli can be challenging.

What makes a Mozzarella di Bufala stand out from a classic Mozzarella “fior di latte”? How are Grana Padana and Parmigiano Reggiano related? Which cheeses work well on an antipasto platter or cheese board? What is the best cheese to add to a delicate risotto? What are some great cheese pairings with wine and with fresh fruit?

This seminar aims to answer these questions and to provide an overview of the most popular Italian cheeses, including origins, production methods, flavor profiles, and serving tips. Learn about the most important Italian cheeses grouped into easy-to-understand families. From fresh “stretched” varieties like Burrata, to pressed types like Asiago and Montasio, to aged grana cheeses full of umami flavors. Italy uses cow, sheep, goat, and water buffalo milk in its cheese production, and we will also learn about the typical cheeses made from each of these types of milk.

Your expert, Rachel Erdman, is a certified Italian cheese taster through the Organizzazione Nazionale degli Assaggiatori di Formaggio, and has been leading visits to artisanal cheese makers for many years. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge about the characteristics of the most well-known Italian cheeses, how to enjoy them at home, and some memorable cheese destinations to include in your next trip to Italy.

You are welcome to taste along with your expert during the seminar. Choose one or several of these suggested cheeses:

  • a fresh cheese such as Mozzarella
  • a pressed cheese like Asiago or Montasio (mild version, aged approx. 1 month)
  • a mild Pecorino Toscano
  • a sharp Pecorino Romano or Pecorino Sardo
  • a small portion of Gorgonzola
  • an aged cheese such as Grana Padana or Parmigiano Reggiano (aged 18-24 months)

    To try some of the pairings that will be discussed, you might also want to have some honey, slices of ripe pear, and a glass of your favorite wine on hand.

  • Rachel is a wine and food expert based in the Veneto region of Italy, her home for more than twenty-five years, and a graduate of Boston University. She received her sommelier certification in Italy in 2009 through the Associazione Italiana Sommelier. Rachel continued her studies to become a cheese taster (ONAF) a few years—and many cheeses–later. She has led wine tastings and gourmet walks for Context Travel in Venice and Padova since 2007. She co-founded www.venicedaytrips.com, which specializes in wine and food tours in northern Italy, to share her passion for Italian wine and artisanal cheese with visitors from around the globe.

    This conversation is suitable for all ages

    90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 8 reviews
    100%
    (8)
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    P
    P.
    Tasty tour of Italian cheeses

    I thought I already knew a lot about cheese, and Italian cheeses in particular, but there was so much more to learn. Rachel's presentation broke down the categories of cheeses, gave us beautiful visuals on the locations and the animals from which they came, the techniques, etc. We tasted right along with her and it was a very enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes...highly recommend it!

    w
    w.c.
    LOVED IT!!!

    AWESOME PRESENTATION!!
    Wouldn’t change a thing.

    S
    S.G.
    Delicious Seminar!

    Learn everything you need to know about Italian cheeses - the history, manufacturing process, and varieties. Rachel ended the seminar with suggestions on pairing options from jam and honey to pears and apples to various wines. An absolute delight!

    S
    S.P.
    Can't wait to get back to Italy and the cheeses!

    Excellent review of Italian cheeses, from mozzarella to gorgonzola. Enjoyed her presentation which was comprehensive and informative. Made me want to travel back to Italy with a new perspective on the various cheeses produced in the different regions.

    L
    L.R.
    Fabulous Presentation - Great history!

    Even if you think that you know Italian cheese, you will learn a lot! Fabulous class....just bad for the waistline.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 8 reviews
    100%
    (8)
    0%
    (0)
    0%
    (0)
    0%
    (0)
    0%
    (0)
    P
    P.
    Tasty tour of Italian cheeses

    I thought I already knew a lot about cheese, and Italian cheeses in particular, but there was so much more to learn. Rachel's presentation broke down the categories of cheeses, gave us beautiful visuals on the locations and the animals from which they came, the techniques, etc. We tasted right along with her and it was a very enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes...highly recommend it!

    w
    w.c.
    LOVED IT!!!

    AWESOME PRESENTATION!!
    Wouldn’t change a thing.

    S
    S.G.
    Delicious Seminar!

    Learn everything you need to know about Italian cheeses - the history, manufacturing process, and varieties. Rachel ended the seminar with suggestions on pairing options from jam and honey to pears and apples to various wines. An absolute delight!

    S
    S.P.
    Can't wait to get back to Italy and the cheeses!

    Excellent review of Italian cheeses, from mozzarella to gorgonzola. Enjoyed her presentation which was comprehensive and informative. Made me want to travel back to Italy with a new perspective on the various cheeses produced in the different regions.

    L
    L.R.
    Fabulous Presentation - Great history!

    Even if you think that you know Italian cheese, you will learn a lot! Fabulous class....just bad for the waistline.