When I was growing up, there were essentially two kinds of cheese–Cheddar and Velveeta. Cheddar meant your family was in the dough for a change, and Velveeta was for when you were almost broke. We mainly had Velveeta, until American cheese singles came along.
How times change–now I am making regularly a classic Italian snack, in a piece of Lodge Tennessee made cast iron. The ingredients here are all either local or Italian.
1 1/2 cups Tipo “00” Fine Italian Flour
1 tablespoon Italian Olive Oil
3/4 cup Water
2 teaspoons Yeast
1 teaspoon Sugar
Mix all the ingredients together, or dissolve the yeast and sugar in some water first. Knead, let rise, and and shape it as if making a pizza dough. This amount of dough will make two 11″ x 7″ Focaccia.
One medium Tomato, sliced, from the Festhalle
Hard Cheese, Grated
Chopped Rosemary, Rosemary grown by yours truly
More Olive Oil
Freshness is the key to all Italian dishes. This cheese was new to me, when I stumbled across it at our supermarket, as a two for one deal. It’s a typically superior hard Italian cheese, this one being from the Italian Alps. It is considered to be the northern Italian equivalent of Parmesan, at a much lower price. That, alas, will not last long.
So there are more than two kinds of cheese, after all. The Piave is every bit as good as Parmesan. In a fit of nostalgia, I once bought organic American cheese singles from Whole Foods. That’s yuppie to the point of crossing over to the dark side.