This rarely tasted traditional cheese made high in the mountains of northern Italy has been one of my favorite eating cheeses for years. In truth, I’ve always been reluctant to reveal it for fear that already limited supplies will become even more difficult to get.
What’s so great about it? It’s simply one of the tastiest, most versatile cheeses I’ve ever tried. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t like it. After aging for half a year or more, its flavors are accessible enough to entice a cheese novice yet more than complex enough to compel cheese fanatics to come back for more.
Flavor wise, think of a good Parmigiano Reggiano, with a little kick of sweet mountain Gruyére. It's excellent on polenta or in risotto. It brings the smoothness of cheddar, the texture of Parmigiano-Reggiano and the mellowness of sweet mountain butter to your table.
"The message on the pretty paper-wrapped Piace Vecchio slab I received promised a little taste of a Parmigiano-type cheese — but it was like nothing I’d ever tasted before. I ate half a pound of it in a day. I grew ill. I still recommend it as a gift to any friend who doesn’t need glitz, glamour, pomp, or circumstance, but loves cheese."
Claire Carusillo, Eater