Sottocenere Al Tartufo
Tender and smooth with ideal meltability. A sweet fairy tale of milk and truffles. Quick Facts Country of Origin: Italy Milk Type/Treatment: Pasteurized Cow Rennet Type: Animal The Flavor Experience This cheese has the texture of a Fontina or Raclette with no lingering air of funk—that’s all been replaced with spice and earth. The rind of Sottocenere is imbued with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and other such warming spices. Their earthy subtleties beautifully adorn the truffle, who becomes the real princess of the story. The Story Sottocenere means “under the ashes” and refers to the ash rind that gives this cheese its characteristic dove-grey color. The use of ash for rind-formation is a centuries-old technique, but the incorporation of the Sottocenere’s distinct spices can be accredited to its maker, Sergio. There is no doubt that this cheese comes off as a classic, but Sergio himself initiated the production of Sottocenere quite recently, just in the 1990s. Still, it is oft imitated. You can spot the real stuff by the waxy leaf or two that get affixed to soft, gray rind. Usage Tips Sottocenere’s texture lends itself ideally to melting, so if you’re embarking on a pan of truffled mac & cheese, this is the way to go. Choose a pasta with plenty of nooks to catch all this deliciousness, like Bartolini Fusilli Gigante. Wondering what cheese to pair with hot cider? The rind of Sottocenere, not to mention the truffle, will pick up that hint of cinnamon stick, and the soft paste will turn to silk in your mouth. We wouldn’t mind a few pistachio cookies for this, either.