Crescenza-Stracchino cheese is one of Italy’s lesser known treasures. It was first made in the Lombardy region in autumn months when cattle herders would bring their cows down the mountains from their alpine grazing pastures. The cows would become tired from their journey and would produce milk that was extra rich in butter and protein. This fresh cheese from the tired cows (“vacca stracca” in Italian) was enjoyed by the cattle herders and sold to villagers along the way. The cheese starts as a semi-soft cheese and as it ages, it becomes very soft and spreadable. When placed in a rigid container it will grow (“crescere” in Italian) to take the shape of the container.
La Bottega di BelGioioso’s exacting standards for extra rich, fresh, local milk allows us to make Crescenza year round. Master Cheesemaker, Jeff Allen, says “I love making Crescenza. It’s a small batch cheese that is hands on throughout the whole process. It allows me to use all of my senses to ensure the cheese is delicious every time.”
Crescenza is an exceptionally versatile cheese. Spread it on warm, crusty bread or a sliver of Granny Smith apple for a tasty treat. Melt it into pasta or onto a pizza or panini. Spread it onto a toasted crostini and top with strawberries or pomegranate with a drizzle of dark chocolate for a quick and easy dessert.