Before and After Raw Robiola
Italy Dairy: I’ve been back from Italy for more than a month now. But I still wake to the taste of raw Robiola. You see, on my last day in Milan I decided to pick a single cheese and eat it for breakfast. Of course, I wanted something pillow-like.
And I needed it to be young and raw — a combination that is illegal in the United States.
Because I love gooey, pungent bunnies I settled on a Robiola. In the States, I buy a pasteurized import called Robiola Due Latte (two milks) and it has never done me wrong. It’s boxy (square-shaped) and reliable, much like a Toyota Camry.
On the morning of May 26, I tasted my first raw-milk Robiola. Will life ever be the same?
The answer is no.
The texture of my raw-milk Robiola can only be described as cloud-like. The pasteurized version is definitely more gummy.
The taste? Like raw peanuts and fresh grass. The pasteurized version is much less nuanced.
Now, I realize that I am comparing apples and orangutans here: my raw Italian Robiola was made from three milks, not two, and it was selected by a cheesemonger at a premier aging cave an hour north of Milan. So, it was perfect. It was the Ferrari of Robiolas.
But how does one go back to driving a Camry after one has enjoyed a much wilder ride?
One doesn’t go back. No, she doesn’t. She has but two options:
- Fly Raw Milk Airlines right back to Europe.
- Attend raw-milk cheese rallies in the United States and hope to meet a swarthy Italian cheese smuggler.
I plan to do a little of both. There are two upcoming national events that attract all the brightest birds in the industry: The Cheesemonger Invitational and the American Cheese Society Conference. If you’re curious to get an inside whiff of cheese prizefighters and raw-milk politics, these are the places to be. Perhaps I’ll see you there?