From Italy, comes Quartirolo Lombardo, a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese associated with the Stracchino family of cheeses. The PDO designation requires the production area of the cheese be limited to specific part of Lombardy, sandwiched between the Po plain and the pre-Alpine valleys between Bergamo and Lecco.
This old cheese belonging to the 9th century is produced with cow's milk and shaped in square or rectangular bricks. It is soft, white, chalky with a slight lumpy texture that softens as the cheese ripens. The colour of the pate is white to pale straw, which will darken upon ripening. The thin and soft rind is pinkish white when young, turning a reddish gray-green on the aged ones. Quartirolo Lombardo is ripened between 5 to 30 days for soft PDO Quartirolo Lombardo and more than 30 days for Ripe PDO Quartirolo Lombardo. The taste is distinctive, slightly sour and aromatic in the fresh cheeses, which intensifies as the cheese ages. The delicate and fragrant flavour of the younger days becomes stronger and typically aromatic upon ripening.
Quartirolo Lombardo is a typical table cheese that goes well with salads, cold dishes, fruits, walnuts and honey. It goes well with many local wines including Barbera d'Alba, Dolcetto delle Langhe, Nebbiolo d'Alba, and Pinot Bianco del Collio.