Instore - August 2018 - 13
Topel says. "Cheeses that are higher in acidity are also good melting
cheeses because acid, when heated, helps break down the protein
bonds that hold the cheese together. "
Younger cheeses typically melt better than aged cheeses simply
because their protein bonds have had less time to solidify.
"Fresh cheeses with a high moisture level may have a watery melt,
while hard cheeses with less moisture may melt, but with a drier
texture," Villarreal says. "Semi-soft cheeses like Fontina, Italico and
Crescenza-Stracchino normally melt with a cream texture. Pasta Filata
also melts very well and results in an excellent cheese pull."
That stretch is of the utmost importance when it comes to preparing
sandwiches, Topel says. For a solid stretch, he recommends high-moisture mozzarella or Havarti, which is made up of long strands of protein
that will stretch when heated.
"Older cheeses that have aged longer will still melt, but may not give
you that signature stretch," he says.
Instead, look for those older cheeses when pairing sandwiches with a
cheesy dip or spread. "Cheeses that stretch tend to be stringier when
they melt and may not be the right consistency for a cheese dip or
sauce," Topel says. "For sauces and dips, stick to slightly older, more
acidic cheeses that melt completely."
Melting cheeses played a big role in BelGioioso's decision to branch
out in a non-cheese direction during this year's IDDBA show in New
Orleans. The company introduced its Gianni Piadina line of piadina, a
traditional flatbread from Italy's Emmilia-Romaga region. The flatbread
- named for Belgioioso's Gianni Succi, a native of the region - was
paired with the company's Crescena-Stracchino cheese at its booth on
the show floor.
The pairing, Villarreal says, is one of the most poplar recipes in Italy,
called Piadina Romagnola.
"The Piadina is a delicious new Italian traditional flatbread and can
be filled with many different cheese, but we find that CrescenzaStracchino's melting properties and mild flavor pairs deliciously with
the Piadina, a little prosciutto and fresh arugula," Villarreal says. "The
cheese melts evenly and quickly and holds all the ingredients together.
It becomes almost liquid as it melts, but as it quickly cools, it binds the
whole sandwich together."
While arugula and prosciutto are the most popular pairings, nearly
any other meat or vegetable can be substitutued. BelGioioso's piadina
comes in three varieties - Piadina Classica, Piadina Spessa Thick, and
Piadina with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
2 oz. BelGioioso Crescenza-Stracchino™ cheese,
cut into smaller pieces
3 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto
A handful of fresh arugula
Place the open piadina into a large flat pan, with the lighter side
of the piadina face down. Cook on high heat for approximately
1 minute, turning it every 15 seconds. You decide when the
piadina is ready according to your desired level of crispness.
Slide piadina onto a big plate and place pieces of Crescenza on
half of the piadina. Don't put the cheese too close to the edge,
as it will expand when it melts. Top cheese with prosciutto and
arugula. Fold piadina in half to cover the filling. Slide piadina
back into the pan, cheese side down, and cook for another
20-30 seconds (cooktops vary, so make sure piadina does not
burn.) Do not flip.
Remove from pan and eat warm. If sharing, use a pizza cutter to
cut into 4 even portions.
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