The master cheesemakers at Belgioioso Cheese began crafting Crescenza-Stracchino with a purpose a few years ago, mostly to fill the need of a customer’s request. That purpose soon turned into a passion, as the talented group of cheesemakers at the company’s Langes Corners plant in Denmark, WI, fell in love with the challenging process and the nuances of the finished cheese.
BelGioioso Cheese is a family-owned and operated company specializing in artisan Italian cheesemaking. Using only natural ingredients and fresh, local Wisconsin milk, its master cheesemakers hand-craft a full line of high-quality cheeses guided by a respect for tradition.
La Bottega di BelGioioso Crescenza-Stracchino is made by hand in very small batches at specific temperatures for brining and drying. master cheesemakers start with extra rich, morning milk from local Wisconsin farmers and make the cheese within a few hours of milking. The delicate curd is ladled into traditional square hoops to form the petite 3.5-pound squares.
This fresh, rindless cheese offers a milky flavor and tender, soft, spreadable texture. When allowed to age, Crescenza-Stracchino develops a pleasant tanginess and creamy softness.
“This fresh cheese is known as Crescenza in some areas of Northern Italy and Stracchino in others, so we chose to use both names,” says Errico Auricchio, president of the Green Bay, WI-based company. “It starts out with a firm texture, and as it ages, the cheese becomes more loose, almost liquid. At this point, the flavor is tangy and delicious, and can become addicting when eaten with fresh, warm focaccia bread.”
Auricchio predicts that the popularity of Crescenza-Stracchino will grow, as the introduction of Italian Piadina flatbread continues to become popular. The 12-inch flatbread is first warmed on a skillet, Crescenza-Stracchino is then spread on half and topped with prosciutto slices and fresh arugula leaves. It is folded over, heated until the cheese is melted, then cut and served warm for a tasty appetizer or quick lunch.
Many chefs are recognizing the versatility of Crescenza-Stracchino. Menus show this cheese being served as an appetizer with warm, crusty bread, melted as a sauce for pastas and Pizzaiola’s are creating signature Neapolitan pizzas with Crescenza-Stracchino topped with mushroom, olives and sliced cured Italian meats.
La Bottega di BelGioioso Crescenza-Stracchino cheese is rBST-free, gluten free and vegetarian and can be found in specialty cheese sections at retailers and delis across the country.
This cheese is offered in two 3.5-pound squares or 12 4-ounce wedges and has a shelf life of 82 days.
Crescenza-Stracchino is a cheese worth checking out.