Walter returned from a shopping trip to our local Wegman’s supermarket—which has a fine cheese department—with a chunk of Trugole. “I’ve never heard of this cheese,” he commented as he unpacked the bag. Neither had I.
After allowing the Trugole to sit out for about 30 minutes, we sliced and sampled. The complex flavors of fruit and herbs came as a surprise because the mouthfeel was so creamy.
I headed online to get information from Agriform, the producer printed on the label. When I meet a person for the first time, I want to know where my new acquaintance is from–it gives me a start of knowing that person. I do the same geographic research with a new food.
I learned that Trugole is an artisanal raw milk product from the area around Asiago in northeastern Italy. As the crow flies, it lies about 50 miles south of Switzerland. Topographically, this land is an altopiano, an Alpine plain rich with grasses and herbs. The cows feed only on these plants which gives the milk, and later the cheese, its singularity. The tender texture is due to daily washing of the cheese rounds in a brine solution. It keeps the paste (the interior) soft.
I enjoyed the Agriform recommendation to serve as “un formaggio da tavola o da meditazione”—a cheese for the table or for mediation.
A cheese worthy of contemplation! Think about that the next time you’re at a quality cheese vendor. Get acquainted with a new Italian cheese.