Specialty Food Magazine

MAY-JUN 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/62387

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Page 24 of 103

CHEESE FOCUS Poised for Takeoff: Italian Cheese Superstars in the Making Retailers share their thoughts on promising new imports that are likely to succeed. BY JANET FLETCHER I taly's world-renowned cheeses command a lot of real estate at most American cheese counters. Apart from those rare cheesemongers with a regional bent, no merchant would open the doors without a stock of Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola, Taleggio and Fontina. But over the past couple of years, these must-have staples have been making room for a flood of newcomers. Cheese-aging specialists (or affinatore, the equiva- lent of the French affineur) like Luigi Guffanti have helped to keep small-scale production alive in rural Italy by buying young cheeses directly from farmers, maturing them properly and managing their export. Some of these costly cheeses will take off in America and some will not. To determine which Burrata is hardly new to American cheese counters, but retailers say this creamy relative of mozzarella is now selling year-round. new Italian imports are most likely to succeed, I queried retailers around the country. And I couldn't resist adding one prediction of my own. By a large margin, the notable newbies hail predominantly from the north, primarily the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Southern cheeses—especially the pecorini of Calabria, Basilicata, Sicily and Sardinia—remain to be discovered and promoted by other passionate cheese scouts. 18 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com PHOTO: STOCKFOOD

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