Cheese Library

Cheese and Antipasti Selections

We sell a variety of imported Italian and artisan domestic cheeses and Italian antipasti on a rotating basis. The following are our cheese and antipasti selections.

Soft Cheeses

Casatica. Lombardy, Italy. A bloomy-rind cheese with a dense, milky sweetness, it is one of the few cheeses made with Italian Water Buffalo milk other than mozzarella. The rich and sweet buffalo milk gives the cheese a creamy and dense texture.

La Tur. Piedmont, Italy. A blend of cow, goat and sheep’s milk from Piedmont in Italy’s northwest. It has a cakey center that softens around its edge and a creamy, rich mouthfeel.  It pairs wonderfully with a glass of bubbly and figs marinated in Barolo wine.

Pecorino Tartufello. Tuscany, Italy. A young, earthy sheep’s milk peppered with slivers of black truffle. The springy, salty sheep’s cheese perfectly compliments the earthy truffles in this Tuscan gem, resulting in a table cheese that is deliciously exotic yet familiar.

Robiola Bosina. Piedmont, Italy. Made from a mix of cow’s and sheep’s milk. It has a silky texture and beautiful balance of salty, creamy and mushroomy flavors. Try it instead of brie and pair it with something bubbly, like a Franciacorta.

Belfiore Mozzarella. Berkeley, California. The classic young, stretched cow’s milk cheese made by one of the pioneers of fresh mozzarella in water. Still a family-owned operation, Belfiore’s mozzarella is perfect in caprese salads, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or, obviously, on pizza or in baked pastas. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 8 ounces each).

Lightly Salted Mozzarella. Upstate New York. The classic young, stretched cow’s milk cheese made fresh from high-quality cows’ milk in upstate New York. Perfect in caprese salads, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or, obviously, on pizza or in baked pastas. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 1 pound each).

Bellwether Creamery Crescenza. Petaluma, California. 2-3 week old cow’s milk cheese. Extremely soft, creamy and spreadable texture. Buttery and lactic flavor. Vegetarian. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 1/2-pound each).

CHEVOO. Sonoma, California. Young goat cheese marinated in an infused blend of extra virgin olive oil. Available in Italian Truffle, Smoked Salt & Rosemary, Tupelo Honey & Lime, Fennel Pollen & Orange, and Dill Pollen & Garlic

Cowgirl Creamery Chimney Rock. Pt. Reyes, California. Cowgirl Creamery’s fall seasonal cheese is a rich, creamy cheese washed in muscat wine and dusted with dried organic shitake mushrooms, summer savory and black pepper. The earthy flavors of the rub balance the bright flavors of the cheese. Organic and vegetarian. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 1/2-pound per piece).

Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam. Pt. Reyes, California. A triple-cream, camembert-style cow’s milk cheese. Creamy, lactic deliciousness. Organic and vegetarian. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 1/2-pound per piece).

Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk. Pt. Reyes, California. A washed-rind cow’s milk cheese. Exceedingly dense and creamy with a noticeable pungency. Organic and vegetarian. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 1/2-pound per piece).

Cowgirl Creamery St. Pat. Pt. Reyes, California. Cowgirl Creamery’s spring seasonal cheese. A creamy, camembert-style cow’s milk cheese wrapped in nettle leaves and aged for four weeks. An earthy, creamy cheese with an added depth and slight smokiness. Organic and vegetarian. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 1/2-pound per piece).

Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog. Arcata, California. An elegant, complex, three week old goat cheese. Chalky in the center and creamy at the edge of its bloomy rind, it is tangy, with classic goat cheese flavors mixing with citrus and herbal notes. It gets runnier and more tangy as it ages. Pair it with a crisp, citrusy white wine like a Vermentino. 

Gioia Mini Burrata. South El Monte, California. A soft, silky, creamy center barely held together by a handmade mozzarella caseing. Made by hand daily.  Serve over salads or pasta, on a cheese plate drizzled with olive oil or balsamic vinegar, or as a dessert, drizzled with honey or chocolate sauce. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 1/4-pound per piece).

Marin French Petite Creme. Petaluma, California. An individual triple-creme cow’s milk brie-style cheese. A creamy, tangy, spreadable beauty that is perfect on a cheese plate, on a baguette for a quick lunch, paired with berries at brunch, or with a glass of Prosecco. Vegetarian. Available by the whole piece only (approximately 4 ounces each).

Semi-Soft Cheeses

Asiago Fresco. Veneto, Italy. A young cow’s milk cheese, semi-soft and delicately-flavored. It melts wonderfully and is great in panini or grilled cheese.

Feta. Thessaly, Greece. Real Greek Feta made using the millennia-old recipe, which includes the use of sheep’s milk and 60 days’ aging in wooden barrels. The result is a creamy and intensely flavorful cheese that is salty and slightly briny with a hint of earthiness. Use it to punch up vegetable or grain salads, on pasta or with chunks of watermelon. Only 2% of the Feta consumed in the US comes from Greece. The real thing is worth a try.

Rusticapra. Lombardy, Italy. A one month old goat’s milk cheese. It develops a dense paste with a springy texture, and a complex earthy flavor that mixes with a hint of sweetness and a dash of acidity. A perfect pairing for a fig and almond cake.

Toma Piemontese Riserva. Piedmont, Italy. A 60-day old cow’s milk cheese. It has a dense, smooth texture and a nutty and slightly sweet/flavor, balancing its earthy aroma. One of the oldest known Italian cheeses, it pairs perfectly with a nice Chianti.

Weinkase Lagrein. Alto Adige, Italy. A delicious, captivating, Toma-style cow’s milk cheese. Bathed in the local Lagrein wine and a mix of garlic, pepper and spices, it develops a rich, meaty flavor and texture reminiscent of salume. Try it with – you guessed it – a glass of Lagrein.

Beehive Cheese Barely Buzzed. Uintah, Utah. A four-month old vegetarian cow’s milk cheese. Made in the cheddar style and hand rubbed with finely ground espresso beans, lavender and vegetable oil. It has a rich, almost beefy taste.

Bellwether Carmody. Petaluma, California. A six week old Jersey cow’s milk cheese. Firm, golden in color, buttery and slightly tangy. Sweetens as it ages. A great snacking cheese that pairs well with a crisp white wine. Also good cubed into a pasta salad.  Vegetarian.

Central Coast Creamery Goat Gouda. Paso Robles, California. A six month old, tangy, slightly nutty, and slightly sweet goat’s milk cheese. Firm.

Central Coast Creamery Seascape. Paso Robles, California. Made from a blend of cow and goat milks, Seascape is a cheddar-style cheese with a semi-firm, smooth texture. The sweetness from the cow’s milk is balanced by the slight tang from the goat’s milk, resulting in an irresistible snacking cheese. Vegetarian.

Cowgirl Creamery Hop Along. Pt. Reyes, California. A 45 day old cow’s milk cheese washed with apple cider. The cheese is melt-in-your-mouth soft, with a silky mouthfeel and minimal resistance to the bite. The cider gives the cheese a slightly sweet, yeasty flavor with a gentle tang to balance out the creamy, buttery goodness. Pair it with pears or apples on your cheeseboard. Organic.

Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel. Pt. Reyes, California. A 75-day old cow’s milk cheese. Mild sweet and very meltable. Perfect for grilled cheese or eating out of hand. Organic.

Pt. Reyes Toma. Pt. Reyes, California. A three month old cow’s milk cheese. A crowd pleaser – semi-firm, with a slightly complex, buttery and lactic flavor. Mild enough for everyday, but complex enough to keep the cheese lover engaged. Also very meltable. Vegetarian.

Firm Cheeses

Asiago Stagionato, aka Asiago d’Allevo. Veneto, Italy. An aged cow’s milk. Intense and sharp – great on a cheese plate or added to soups, salads, and pastas. 

Caciocavallo, smoked. Sicily, Italy. A stretched curd cheese (like mozzarella) made of cow’s milk, it is salty and smoky, with a taste reminiscent of bacon, and a firm texture. Eat it straight or shred it over your favorite pasta! 

Cabra al Vino (aka Drunken Goat). Murcia, Spain. A young goat cheese washed in Doble Pasta wine and aged for 60 days, it is stark white in color with a rich purple-red rind that makes it incredibly eye-catching on a cheese plate. With the characteristic tangy zip of a younger goat cheese balanced by a gentle sweetness and delicate notes of grape, it is also delicious in a grilled cheese sandwich. Eat alone or pair with a bold, fruit-forward red wine.  

Fontina Val D’Aosta. Aosta Valley, Italy. A 6-9 month old washed-rind cow’s milk cheese. Dense, nutty, robust and aromatic. It is a wonderful melting cheese (try it in mac and cheese!) and shines on a cheese plate, especially when accompanied with dried fruits and nuts. Pair it with a Nebbiolo, Barolo or Barbaresco or a crisp white.  Unpasteurized.

Gruyere. Fribourg, Switzerland. A traditional, cave-aged version of the classic cheese made in the Swiss Alps since the 1200’s. Aged for a full 12 months, it develops a rich, nutty, sweet complexity that makes it compulsively snackable and one of the most versatile cheeses around. It’s equally at home on a cheese board, mixed into a frittata, on french onion soup, in a gratin (try cauliflower for a twist!), in a grilled cheese sandwich or on a cheeseburger (just to name a few options). Raw.

Mitica Sardo. Sardinia, Italy. An 8 month old salted sheep’s milk cheese. Salty, nutty, earthy, firm, and slightly sharp, it is much like Fiore Sardo, except pasteurized. This delicious, versatile cheese is equally at home on a cheese tray as shaved over pasta. It can be paired with a variety of red wines, but we love it with a Cannonau di Sardegna.

Provolone. Lombardy, Italy. A sharp, salty, tangy cow’s milk cheese aged for 9-12 months. While it’s the classic addition to Italian-American sandwiches, it’s also perfect as a counterpoint on a cheese plate. Try it and forget everything you know about mass-produced provolone.

Pecorino con Pepe. Tuscany, Italy. A sheep’s milk cheese aged for three months and studded with peppercorns. The age balances out the sheep cheese’s typical earthiness and the peppercorns add a wonderful complexity without the pepper sharpness you’d expect. A great cheese plate cheese and also makes a great risotto.  See our recipe here: http://italiancowboyfoods.com/recipe/cheesy-risotto/

Piave Vecchio. Piedmont, Italy. A 6-12 month old cow’s milk cheese. Deliciously nutty and firm, but will still melt in your mouth if you let it. Try it if you like aged Greuyere.

Piave Vecchio Selezione Oro. Piedmont, Italy. A 12-18 month old cow’s milk cheese. Deliciously nutty and sweet, with texture between firm and hard. A showstopper on a cheese plate. Try it if you like aged Gouda.

Ricotta Salata. Sicily, Italy. A dense sheep’s milk cheese aged for three months. Firm, salty and not meltable, it’s the perfect addition to salads and pasta sauces.

Ubriaco Raboso. Veneto, Italy. A fruity and complex cow’s milk cheese. Washed in red wine and aged for 12 months, the wine flavor permeates the cheese, with hints of red wine and blackberry in the center and getting increasingly wine-y near the rind. The name means “drunk on Raboso,” Raboso being the red wine in which it’s washed.

Beecher’s Flagship. Seattle, Washington. A 15-month old cheddar-style cow’s milk cheese. Incredibly complex. Nutty but sharp, salty but sweet, firm yet creamy. One of the best cheddars we’ve ever eaten.

Rouge Creamery Chocolate Stout Cheddar. Central Point, Oregon. A 24-month-old cheddar made by pouring Rouge’s Chocolate Stout beer over the cheese curds during cheesemaking. The result is a mellow, savory, but sweet cheddar with readily identifiable notes of ale and chocolate. Vegetarian.

Hard Cheese

Asiago d’Allevo Vecchio. Veneto/Trentino Alto Adige, Italy. An aged cheese made on the Asiago Plateau in Italy for over 1,000 years from raw cow’s milk. It is a complex cheese, at once earthy, sharp, sweet and slightly nutty. Delicious on a cheese plate, it’s also hard enough to be grated. Pair it with a light, fruity wine.

Grana Padano. Piedmont, Italy. Made in Italy for almost 1,000 years, it is an aged cow’s milk cheese perfect for grating on pasta or including on your next cheese plate. Nutty and slightly salty, it is similar to Parmigano-Reggiano but a bit more mild. Our Grana Padano is aged over 16 months for a more concentrated flavor. Pair it with a bold red or crisp white wine.

Parmigiano Reggiano. Emilia-Romagnia, Italy. The real deal. A 24-month old Parmigiano, aged twice as long as required to be called Parmigiano Reggiano, for an added depth of flavor and nuttiness. Salty, nutty and sweet.

Parmigiano Reggiano Solo di Bruna. Emilia-Romagnia, Italy. Made by only a handful of cheesemakers in Emilia-Romagna, Solo di Bruna is a 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano made from the milk of brown cows that has a high casein content, giving the cheese a buttery, nutty flavor that is more creamy than a typical Parmigiano. Try it on a cheese plate by itself or drizzled with traditional balsamic vinegar.

Pecorino Romano. Lazio, Italy. A hard sheep’s milk cheese made for almost 2,000 years. Salt, hard, tangy and sharp. Can be used for grating but also delicious on a cheese plate.

Blue Cheeses

Blu di Langa. Piedmont, Italy.  Made from a mix of cows’, goats’ and sheep’s milk, it is firm but creamy, with a subtle tang from the goat and sheep’s milk balancing its earthy blue cheese flavor. We love it with a glass of Prosecco! 

Gorgonzola Dolce.Lombardy, Italy. A 6-9 month old cow’s milk cheese. Called “dolce” (meaning “sweet”) to distinguish it from the older, more robust Gorgonzola Picante, Gorgonzola Dolce is creamy, buttery and very spreadable, with a very delicate blue cheese flavor. Equally at home for baking or in sauces as on a cheese plate. It’s the perfect introduction to someone not familiar with blue cheeses or for anyone who likes a mild blue cheese flavor. Spread it on bread or crackers alongside a glass of bubbly or pair it with roasted mushrooms or mushroom bisque. 

Gorgonzola (Mountain). Lombardy, Italy. A 6-9 month old cow’s milk cheese. Dense, creamy and with a medium-blue-sharpness. Equally at home for baking or in sauces as on a cheese plate.

Cascadia Creamery Glacier Blue. Trout Lake, Washington The perfect blue for a crowd – salty but sweet, creamy yet crumbly, with a gentle, enchanting blue flavor. It’s the perfect introduction to blue cheese for those that may not have had it or think they don’t like it, but will also keep the blue cheese lover coming back for more. Made with organic milk.

Point Reyes Bay Blue. Point Reyes, California. A mild blue with a firm/slightly crumbly texture. Great on salads, steaks and burgers, mixed into porcini risotto, or on a cheese plate alongside a bold red wine. 

Antipasti

Grilled Artichoke Hearts in Oil

Cerignola Olives, Black. Meaty and earthy, with a generous ratio of olive-to-pit.

Cerignola Olives, Green. Meaty and briny, with a generous ratio of olive-to-pit.

Cipollini Onions in Balsamic. Sweet and tart, they’re the perfect counterpoint to soft or funky cheeses. Also great in a martini.

Rum Marinated Figs. Figs dried under the Calabrian sun, and marinated in rum and chestnut honey. Sweet, lightly boozy and complex from the chestnut honey. Perfect with soft cheeses, on yogurt or ice cream or over cheesecake.

Gigandes Beans in Vinaigrette. Large, meaty beans in a tomato vinaigrette. Add to salads, as a light lunch, alongside a hearty roast, or serve on an antipasti plate.

Roasted Red Peppers in Oil.

Pitted Taggiasca Olives in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Small, buttery, pitted olives packed in their own extra virgin olive oil. Use for nicoise salad, mix into beans for an easy bruschetta topping, or eat straight out.

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