Saturday, January 3, 2009
King of cheese my Aunt Sally
I bought a giant block of pecorino romano today. Now I know that, as someone who is well-versed in cooking rather good Italian American food, I'm supposed to swoon over parmigiana reggiano, landing delicately on a chaise longue, prompting physicians to shout "Womanly vapors, remove her uterus!" However, although I appreciate is as a rather nice grating cheese, used as a finishing touch to pizza or lasagne, I find it rather grainy and not quite appealing on its own, as part of an antipasti or otherwise. Pecorino romano, ah, now that is dangerous stuff to have out in the open. I have to buy it in huge blocks simply because half of it gets eaten whilst the other (barely) makes it into dishes. I think it has a sharper taste than the parm, yet is smoother in texture and really nice broken off in chunks and eaten on its own. My favorite use is as a tester for tomato sauce: spear a chunk with a fork, dip into sauce, taste test. It usually takes, oh, maybe four, five chunks to make sure the sauce tastes just right. Yes, I know, I could use a nice piece of Italian roll or chunk of baguette but, let's be real--cheese is awesome. Any excuse to eat even more of it is all right by me. Which makes me believe that a chunk of bread speared at the same time as a chunk of cheese, both dipped into the sauce...oh, I am so going there. Now that's dinner. And let's not forget a nice glass of wine alongside.