Robiola Tre Latti Cheese

Robiola Tre Latti – Italy

I picked up a wheel of Robiola Tre Latti at the Alex Farm Products Cheese store located in the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto (Ontario, Canada).

Robiola 3 Latti cheese

Robiola 3 Latti Cheese from Italy

This cheese is imported into Canada. It originates from the small town of Arona, in the province of Novara, in the Piedmont area of Northern Italy.

Province of Novara in Northern Italy

Province of Novara in Northern Italy

The small wheel of Robiola that I bought was produced by the Luigi Guffanti company. The company’s beginning dates back to 1876. They have an extensive line of cheese and they make several styles of Robiola. The term 3 Latti is Italian for three milks. This cheese is made from an equal mixture of cow’s milk, sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. There is a picture of three animals on the cheese’s label.

Robiola 3 Latti Cheese Label

Robiola 3 Latti Cheese Label

This sign was displayed at the Alex Farm Product’s cheese counter.

Robiola Cheese Sign

Robiola Cheese Sign

A Robiola cheese isn’t always made from three milks. It is often made from just cow’s milk, or goat’s milk, or the two combined. This particular Robiola takes the blending to the next level with the addition of sheep’s milk. It is a soft cheese produced in small wheels. In making this cheese the curds are hand ladled and allowed to drain naturally with no pressing. Robiola is a fresh style cheese aged as few as three days but up to three months. It ripens from the outside in. The Robiola Tre Latti cheese was wrapped in paper and had a very thin, almost non-existent rind.

I was surprised to find a  “fresh” cheese that was imported from so far away. The importers have a short window of time to get this cheese from the farm in Italy to the cheese counter in Toronto without spoilage.

This Robiola was very pale, with a buttery tinted rind and a very white paste (center).

Robiola 3 Latti Cheese from Italy

Robiola 3 Latti Cheese from Italy

What does Robila Tre Latti taste like? This is a mild cheese. It is very soft and spreadable. The equal mix of different milks is interesting. You can sense some characteristic of each milk as you taste. It carries a taste reminiscent of fresh milk.  I would say the goat milk was the dominant flavour followed by sheep with the cow’s milk along for the ride. To really appreciate this cheese I think you would need to have some taste experience with goat and sheep cheeses.

The sign at the cheese counter suggested that this cheese is earthy, mushroomy with a sour hint. I did not find it earthy or mushroomy. Those are flavors that are usually opposite fresh. The sour hint was definitely there mixed with some saltiness.

The flavor of the three milks blend together well into a delicate, mellow, easy going cheese with a smooth texture. This is a cheese to chillax with. This cheese should appeal to most palettes. It is more prone to calm than excite. This cheese is good for spreading on crackers and it would work well as a dessert cheese.

How It’s Made – Goat Cheese

I discovered an excellent YouTube video describing how goat cheese is made. The video points out some interesting facts about goat cheese manufacture.

Goats are milked every 12 hours. The milking takes three minutes and produces three quarts of milk. I would have thought that a milking would take longer. Those goats give milk like it’s coming from a spigot!

The magic temperature to heat the milk to kill bacteria is 66 degrees Celcius.

They add 0.6% salt to the cheese to slow aging.

Soft goat cheese has a shelf life of two months. However, they suggest the cheese has a shelf life of just one week after being opened.

Soft goat cheese has twice the protein as cow’s milk cream cheese. The soft goat cheese has 1/2 the fat, 1/2 the cholesterol and 1/3 the calories of cow’s milk cream cheese.

I didn’t realize the goat cheese was a healthier choice. Now I’ve got to eat more goat cheese.

Greek Kasseri Cheese

I decided to try some Macedonia Greek Kasseri Cheese today. I saw it while shopping at Michael-Angelo’s Market Place in Mississauga.

Greek Kasseri Cheese

This is a Greek cheese made from ewe’s (female sheep) milk or a blend of sheep and goat milk. When blended, the cheese can contain no more than 20% goat’s milk by weight.

This cheese is semi-hard, mild, slightly salty with a faint buttery taste. It is pale yellow with no rind. It would make a nice table or snacking cheese. One website I researched referred to Kasseri as “Greek Mozzarella”. Evidently it is a good melting cheese and could be used on pizza, in sandwiches or with eggs. I have not experimented with that yet.

The mean composition of Kasseri is : moisture 42.2%, fat 25.2%, protein 25.8%, salt 3.1% and pH 5.7.

Kasseri is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) product. It is one of twenty Greek cheeses that has been certified by the European Union. PDO cheese must meet standards regarding the origin, the animals and the production methods.

Kasseri is consistantly rich since it is made only in the months when the milk is creamy and sweet. It is hand stretched, kneaded and put into special molds. The cheese rounds are aged in special rooms for six months. The flavor continues to develop and improve even after it has been packaged. Like most traditional Greek cheeses Kasseri is “organic” since it is produced from the milk of Sheep and Goats that graze in regions free from fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides.

Kasseri is the cheese used in the famous Greek dish Saganaki in which cheese is fried then flambéed.

I liked this cheese. It is not the kind of cheese that makes me want to tell people they must try it. But it was pleasant, affordable and a bit different. I don’t know if I’ve ever had sheep’s milk cheese before. Maybe that was a first. I’m paying a lot more attention to the cheeses I encounter and trying to figure them out and understand them better. It seems every cheese has a story behind it and this one took me to Greece. Opa!