In preparing for our continued participation at the SEATTLE CHEESE FESTIVAL 2010, held May 15-16 in the Pike Place Market, we are reminded that it’s been a cheesy year at RITROVO®.
To begin with, the standard visitor-exhibitor exchange that will take place over-and-over again, at the RITROVO® ITALIAN REGIONAL FOODS stand at the festival will take a different turn:
* Standard visitor’s question: “So, do you sell cheese?”
* Standard RITROVO® reply: “In fact, we do represent two new cheese producers this year, along with two delicious new cheeses that we’ve co-developed…”
Brief Explanation: since company inception, we at RITROVO® have always supported and encouraged sales of quality cheeses. We have done it through the complimentation of cheesemakers by serving their products with RITROVO SELECTIONS™ such as Il Mongetto’s Mostarda d’Uva, Casina Rossa’s Mosto Cotto, Feudo delle Ginestre’s Fruit Conserves, and 2009 NASFT national / sofi™ award winner, RITROVO SELECTIONS™ Aged Balsamic Vinegar, as well as with cheese-friendly crackers such as Tenuta Castello’s ‘Rubata’ Grissini and Tenuta Cocevola’s Taralli. All will be found at our stand this year, making for fantastic cheese pairings.
However, this year we will also be sampling two special cheeses resulting from collaborations with U.S.-based cheese artisans. Mt Townsend ‘Trufflestack’ and Ballard Dairy Truffle Cheddar are both made with the addition of our international favorite, Truffle & Salt, a RITROVO SELECTION™.
These two co-creations are definitely worth coming to the RITROVO® stand to taste. ‘Trufflestack’ is a national finalist for the 2010 sofitml award, for OUTSTANDING CHEESE of 2010.
Now, for a touch more cheesiness…
Cheese is a foundational element in Italian cooking, be it on the classic cheese plate or piatto di formaggi, or melted into a fonduta or frico, or used atop a pasta or risotto.
Over the course of the year, here at RITROVO®, cheese has been prominent in our culinary lives and events, beyond the 2010 SEATTLE CHEESE FESTIVAL:
* Eating outstanding homemade pizza with mozarella, made by Craig Marocco (our gifted graphic artist and expert pizza chef) in his gorgeous backyard pizza oven. A favorite Marocco creation featured Sicilian Bottarga and Meyer lemon, Casina Rossa Sea & Salt, and Tenuta Cocevola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Serving crostini made with just-melted gorgonzola dolce cheese and our Feudo delle Ginestre Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Grape Chutney, served at the benefit and fundraiser for earthquake-affected victims of the Regione Abruzzo, sponsored by Pacific Lutheran University alumni
* Having a remarkable housemade focaccia stuffed with Bel paese cheese and drizzled with RITROVO SELECTIONS™ White Truffle Oil , causing oohs and ahhs during lunch lunch with Chef Walter Pisano at Tulio Ristorante;
* Presenting our Dr. Pescia honeys as condiments for taleggio, gorgonzola dolce, and parmiggiano reggiano cheeses at the TrueItalian Event in Vancouver, British Columbia, judged by the Italian Olympic team
* Tasting the inspired combination of three different cheeses with Maida Wild Chicory and Dr. Pescia Corbezzolo Honey, in a sandwich created by Louann Dobbs at her cheese store Foster & Dobbs in Portland, Oregon
* Eating real piadine flatbread topped with typical squaquerone cheese at our favorite wine bar, Ca de Ven, in Ravenna, Italy
Yes, it’s been a cheesy year. Buon Appetito, a tutti.
Ron and Ilyse