A buttery-rich double-cream to triple-cream cheese made from cow's milk. It is ivory-colored, soft and delicate, and ranges in texture from that of a light clotted cream to that of room-temperature butter. You are most likely to run across mascarpone in the Italian cake Tiramisù. It's versatile enough to be blended with other flavors and goes great with fruit. It is also a great creamer for hot cocoa or coffee.
A fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. It is best when eaten within 24 hours. Goes well with salad, crusty bread, fresh tomatoes with olive oil and cracked black pepper, or pasta.
While “parmesan” cheeses are made in a variety of countries, for over 800 years, authentic Parmigiano Reggiano is exclusively produced in various provinces of northern Italy. It is a hard, granular cheese that is popularly used as a grating cheese for pasta. It also goes great with salads and a fine wine.
Is a hard, salty cheese, suitable primarily for grating and made out of sheep milk. It’s distinctive aromatic, pleasantly sharp, salty flavor makes it ideal as a companion to most pasta dishes.
Originated in Southern Italy, sharp provolone is a whole milk cow cheese. Goes great with salads, on crackers or as an accompaniment to salami.
A traditional Italian cold cut made from pork shoulder or neck, and dry-cured whole. It is similar to the more widely known cured ham, prosciutto, because they are both pork-derived cold-cuts that are used in similar dishes. However, the technical definition of ham is the thigh and buttocks of a pig (or boar) used for meat, whereas capicola is solely meat from the shoulder or neck. It is usually sliced thin for use in antipasto or sandwiches such as muffulettas, Italian grinders, and panini, as well as some traditional Italian pizza.
A dry Italian salami which is much leaner than the more common "dry salami". The salami has large bits of fat, garlic, black peppercorns surround by leaner meat which provides a robust, distinctive but not overpowering flavor. Use as an antipasti, for sandwiches, or with salad. As with most salami the slices should be cut quite thin.
A dry-cured ham that is usually sliced thinly and usually served uncooked. It is also served as an antipasto, wrapped around grissini or, especially in summer, cantaloupe or honeydew. It is eaten as accompaniment to cooked spring vegetables, such as asparagus or peas. It may be included in a simple pasta sauce made with cream. It is used in stuffings for other meats, such as veal, as a wrap around veal or steak, in a filled bread, or as a pizza topping. Prosciutto slices are often difficult to cut in pieces for use in cooking, as they tend to shred and stick to one another. In this case either using very sharp knives or shredding by hand is best.
Soppressata can be made of fresh hams, as well as other cuts. Pork is the traditional meat used, though it is sometimes made using beef. It is commonly sliced thin and placed on crackers or sandwiches or eaten by itself. Soppressata is becoming a popular alternative topping to pepperoni for pizza in some pizzerias in the United States. Usually offered in both spicy and mild.
An Italian bacon that is cured with salt, pepper, and other spices, but is not smoked. Unlike English and American bacon, which are taken from the sides and belly of the pig, may be smoked, and are usually cut into slices, pancetta comes only from the belly and is salt-cured but not smoked. When served on its own, pancetta is presented in very thin slices. More often it is used to flavor other dishes, especially pasta sauces.
Italian cured, resembling bologna in size, appearance and in flavor. Mortadella is a popular sandwich ingredient, often combined with provolone cheese in a panini. Mortadella is also used as one of the meats in antipasto dishes, where it may be topped off with a thin layer of olive oil.
Type of Prosciutto that is usually cut thin and served with bread. The flavor is robust and the texture a bit chewy. Speck is also a smoked product.
Air dried salted beef that is aged for two to three months. It is made from top round, and is lean and tender with a sweet, musty smell. As an antipasto, bresaola is usually sliced paper thin and served at room temperature or slightly chilled. It is most commonly eaten on its own, but may be drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, and served with salad, cracked black pepper, and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.
Made from pork but may also contain beef, Genoa Salami is seasoned with garlic, salt, black and white peppercorns, fennel seeds, and red or white wine. The meat pairs well with mild, creamy cheeses and dense, chewy breads. It can also be used on antipasto platters, or sprinkled onto salads and pizzas.