As an aged cheese from the Emilia Romagna region, we like to think of this Vacche Rosse cheese as a next level Parmigiano Reggiano aged 24 months. In fact it was the milk from these “red cows” that inspired Benedictine monks to first produce Parmigiano Reggiano more than 800 years ago. While most producers have switched to using milk from newer, more productive breeds, chefs and cheese mongers agree: there’s no substitute for the original Vacche Rosse heritage breed of cow. Vacche Rosse cheese is sweet and mild enough to enjoy on its own, or at any course of the meal. Add a few drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
, and you have a very impressive aperitivo or after-dinner cheese plate. This Vacche Rosse also makes an exceptional grating cheese, perfect for adding flavor to risotto, pasta, soups, roasted vegetables and salads.
Producer Luciano Catellani is a third generation cheese maker who continues to make Vacche Rosse cheese the same way his grandfather did, aging it at least 24 months to achieve the perfect consistency. His cows eat the grass of his own fields all spring and summer, which not only makes their milk rich in omega 3 and 6, but also provides the beta carotene that gives the cheese its signature yellow tint. This healthy diet also adds to the richness of the aromas and flavors in the cheese, including notes of walnuts, hazelnuts, wildflowers and fresh baked bread, and a pleasant, fruity acidity and balanced spice.
In the 20th century, the Vacche Rosse were largely replaced by other breeds that produce greater quantities of milk and are therefore considered more profitable - but Luciano, just like his grandfather, never gave up his cows, convinced that their milk was of a superior quality.
Nota bene: It is normal for some of the fat to separate from the cheese. When you first open the package, do not remove the cheese. Let the package sit open for about one hour. In this way, the cheese will absorb the fat and the texture will be more pleasing.