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Cheeses: 15 shops for nerds like you've never seen them before
Cheeses: 15 shops for nerds like you've never seen them before

The nerd of the cheeses he talks about the cult while he practices it, he lives cheese and breathes it, he doesn't trust the cutting board on the menu. He would do it better: he is convinced of it.

And then, this chopping board thing broke the boxes. Better a wheel: we start at 6 with the least tasty (generally the freshest) and continue clockwise with the most intense flavors.

The story of blue cheese (such as Gorgonzola) that necessarily goes to the end, he, the nerd would see it well on And immediately he would say: sweet gorgonzola, to say, goes before the Aosta Valley fontina.

It is recognized because he breaks the dough with his hands and sticks his nose into it, and before spreading a teaspoon of jam on a seasoned one (assuming he does it), he tries it "in purity".

Obviously, to practice the cult he has his chosen places, from where he returns with a full bag and 80 euros less in his wallet.

Here, we have selected 15 shops at its height: leave every (other) dish or you who enter.

15. Ancient Mangatia delicatessen

Via Università 68, Sassari

Antica Salumeria Mangatia
Antica Salumeria Mangatia

Let's start from the bottom of our wheel: aged pecorino cheese and honey (there are a dozen, from different flowers, which invite the Sassari people to marry), a wedding with a happy ending at Walt Disney.

The Sardinian specialty shop run by Baingio Mangatia and his son Pinuccio also distributes the rare Pecorino di Osilo, a Slow Food presidium. Mixing it with fresh ricotta and kid rennet, father and son, they invented Tiubedru, a variant of melted cheese in glass.

14. The Best

Martyrs of Liberation 208, Chiavari (GE)

the best
the best

The kitsch name is explained by the year it was inaugurated: 1990.

Gianluca and Mauro, refiners cousins, opened the shop after observing their grandparents for years, struggling with the Ligurian Apennine cheese. Narration or storytelling (as they say today) must have it in their DNA: they tell this and other stories by selling cheeses (excellent selection of French), wines among which there is something to get lost in, bottarga.

Do not miss the San Stè: raw whole milk, typical of the Val d’Aveto (between Genoa and the province of Piacenza) with a bitter aftertaste.

13. The corner of freshness

Via Cadriano, 27/2, Bologna

the corner of freshness
the corner of freshness

In the presence of Roberto Guermandi's 12-meter counter, the cheese nerd and even the rest of us mere mortals, has an opportunity that doesn't happen often: the Parmigiano Reggiano wheel.

I already see you with the face of Mel Brooks in Frankenstein Junior: “Yes, he can, fareeee”.

Well yes. Here the choice allows it. There is also the precious Red Cows variant (more predisposed to aging, more digestible) and I'll tell you more: each seasoning corresponds to a dairy. Because each Parmesan gives its best at different times of aging.

12. Burgio Brothers

Piazza Cesare Battisti 4, Syracuse


Fratelli Burgio is the souk of the typical product at the Ortigia market (the island that hosts historic Syracuse). A few steps from the noisy fish negotiations, follow the melted ice and you will recognize it: always crowded, the shop / restaurant serves inviting mixed platters from 12 to 20 euros.

The cheese counter is full and focuses on typicality. Two unmistakable pecorino cheeses: the Piacentino Ennese, really yellow, with the addition of saffron and black peppercorns, and the one with the Bronte pistachio, left whole.

Then the varieties of Girgentana goat (from the province of Agrigento) and the tricotta, baked ricotta. It closes at 3.30pm, keep that in mind.

11. Cicchelli Groceries

Via Trento 84, Pescara

photo Banco Ciccherelli
photo Banco Ciccherelli

They tend to minimize and define themselves as delicatessen. But blessed Cicchelli gentlemen, and the cheese counter?

South in great evidence: the importance of Molise is testified by the Stracciata di Agnone (cow's milk fiordilatte with a soft texture). Then the raw milk cheese from Basilicata, in addition to Abruzzo.

Treats from the north: Parmigiano Reggiano aged 64 months, French Echiré butter and Strachitunt from the Bergamo valleys.

10. Degust

Bsackerau 1, Varna (BZ)

Hansi Baumgartner abandoned his brothers cooks and Michelin star at the Schöneck restaurant in Rio Pusteria (BZ) to devote himself to the art, in this case we can say, of refinement (leaving everything and going to huts, it seems almost the topos of the tired entrepreneur of the routine that opens a gazebo on the beach).

Since 1994, the South Tyrolean chef has been selecting producers for his company, which he opened with his wife, and has aged the wheels in charcoal, cocoa beans, raisin pomace.

In his atelier they range from hay to gold leaves, but the masterpieces are cheeses made with flowers.

9. The Stanga of Goodness

Viale della Pace 227, Vicenza

the shaft of goodness
the shaft of goodness

Two rarities make Mirco and Luca De Francheschi unique for lovers of noble molds. Noble to the point of having appropriated the wine lexicon: La Stanga delle Bontà proposes the vertical of Bitto, in a comparison of vintages ranging from 2014 to 2011, passing through 2012.

If you want to try Brie (the real one, not the "president's" one …), you are in the right place. There are also variants stuffed with dried fruit, truffle and blue.

8. Borgiattino

Corso Vinzaglio 29, Turin

Borgiattino Turin
Borgiattino Turin

Roberto Borgiattino likes to play at home.

The presence of French neighbors and some unavoidable appearances from the rest of Italy are indispensable, but the Turin shop is the right place to compose a Piedmont PDO wheel. And given that choosing between 150 different cheeses is difficult, I suggest one, typical and typical, choosing among its:

  1. Robiola di Roccaverano
  2. Maccagno
  3. Plaisentif
  4. Bettelmatt
  5. Brüss

The order also depends on the seasoning. But the Brüss, leave it for last: it is a cream obtained from very seasoned goats, mixed with pepper, chilli, wine (or grappa) and left to ferment in a closed vessel. I don't know if I made the idea.

7. Beppe and his cheeses

via Santa Maria del Pianto, 9 / a, Rome

beppe and its cheeses
beppe and its cheeses

Establishment of the Roman Ghetto, Beppe, who has the eclectic personality and spontaneity of a local, is instead from Piedmont.

The family produces little things that occasionally gets them, such as the toma from Val Thures (summer 1990) which can be found until recently in the Roman shop. Stuck on the French, it does not deny space to the freshest of the south and to smoked pecorino cheeses.

Dangerous to throw your eye towards the tasting room with the cutting boards in full view and that selection of wines. Leaving will be difficult. Even limit the final bill for that matter.

6. Ercoli 1928

Via Montello 22, Rome

Hercules 1928
Hercules 1928

Direct importer of Iranian caviar. “Embé”, you cheese nerds will say. Here it is. Let's start again.

Direct importer of French cheeses. So reasonable prices. Vacherin Mont d'Or (the one in the wooden box that you put in the oven and eat it in spoonfuls), Langres aged in champagne, Petit Fiancé des Pyrénées washed down with Rosso dell'Abbazia 2001. These at least are the cheeses I remember from having bought, after a good hour of asking the poor attendant.

The staff here really makes a difference.

The wide-open gaze flows between Stichelton (you know Stilton? Simplifying: the raw milk version), cheese crackers and accompanying compotes.

5. Dreams of Milk

Via Cilea 277, Naples

Dreams of milk
Dreams of milk

With the generosity that distinguishes the Neapolitans, they let you taste.

And there is something to try: we are about 250 selections. From these was born the Quattro Latti pizza, signed by the Neapolitan pizza maker Gino Sorbillo. Gorgonzola di bufala, Pecorino romano DOP, goat's ricotta and burrata with cow's milk.

They also sell the Noble Milk of the Campania Apennines which, pardon the digression, makes you want to go back to drinking the glass that leaves your mustache.

4. Peck

Via Spadari, 9, Milan


The Cartier of delicatessens (and the best according to Dissapore) leaves nothing to chance. Historically family-run and recently in the hands of a CEO, the three floors frequented by Milano bene dedicate the proper attention to the cured dairy counter.

We pass from the Swiss Sbrinz (extra-hard pasta, raw milk, 18 months of starting seasoning) to the more local crescenza, made in wooden buckets as you can't find any more.

Then there is the most prized of the Valtellina, the Bitto Storico: mountain pasture, here too raw milk. 12 produce it, you will understand why it is presided over by Slow Food. At Peck you can find it in various maturations, from 2009 to 2015, as well as from 92 to 260 euros per kilo.

The smell under the nose that we like.

3. Franco Parola's cheeses

Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Florence

The cheeses of Franco Parola
The cheeses of Franco Parola

When we told you that the Central Market in Florence is the best for eating and shopping, we were thinking of shops like this one.

Because here the chopping board does it for you as well, but if you want your taste and smell not to be distracted by the bedlam, arm yourself with attention and index finger, ready to focus on what inspires you the most among the 200 cheeses available. Many come from Tuscan dairies and from the rest of the peninsula, from Switzerland, France and Great Britain there is the best. Also from Ireland.

For example, how about Cahill's Irish Porter Cheddar with dark beer?

2. The cheese hut

via Vincenzo Foppa 5, Milan

The cheese hut
The cheese hut

If I say THREE HUNDRED and you think of the Spartan warriors it is evident that you have never been here.

Three hundred (and more) are the forms to choose from, Bollcremm included. This is a gorgonzola that has bathed in Champagne, the flagship product of Roberto Roscioli's line. His exclusive recipes, applied to well-known products of northern Italy. Like the honey and spice nectar, obtained from semi-hard pasta from Trentino Alto Adige.

There is no shortage of Fossa cheese, Montèbore, Puzzone di Moena, Burrata. The Financial Times listed it in the top 5 cheese shops in the world.

What could be better?

1. Giolito

Via Monte Grappa, 6, Bra

giolito cheeses
giolito cheeses

Fiorenzo Giolito is to cheeses as Pippo Baudo is to television. From the series "I invented it.."

In the 1970s, the first specialized shop in the whole province opened. Cuneo, that of Alta Langa and Castelmagno robiole, of which it is obviously well stocked. He selects from all over Italy and abroad and he must succeed quite well: he is the manager of the cheese sector for Eataly.

His is Bra-ciuc, a cheese from Bra (the city of the biennial Cheese) aged in the pomace of Pelaverga. Under the brick vaults of the shop there is also the Delirium, which is a Stilton drowned in the white port, and the G.da asylum, a cream of gorgonzola.

Photo credits: Suedtirol, Agrodolce; Ugo De Berti;; Chronicle

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