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A regular report on geek cheese interests and the learnings by traveling cheesemonger Daphne Zepos.
A Secret Italian Cheese Wrapping Technique
Mulino Bianco Taralluci: every Italian eats them. They are little cookies that Italians dip in their Mokha-maker coffee in the morning. (We have them in Greece where they’re calledmerenda.) They’re very tender. As soon as you stick them in coffee they dissolve. You have to be very quick and put them in your mouth immediately after dipping.
The cookies are fine, but it’s the packaging that concerns us cheesemongers. The packaging has a magical property that I learned from Giorgio Cravero, the 5th Generation cheese selector at Cravero Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is a nearly perfect cheese wrapper.
It now becomes the world’s best cheese bag.
The Taralluci bag is paper on the outside, foil on the inside. It’s a perfect home for cheese. Giorgio—and countless other Italians I’ve met—put the cheese in the bag to store it in their refrigerator. No other packaging is needed. They roll the bag down, then seal it with a chip clip.
Once the taralluci are finished, the bag is wiped out, the top edge cleaned up with scissors, and it’s filled with a piece of cheese and put in the refrigerator. Where in the fridge? “In the refrigerator, period. It doesn’t matter.” says Giorgio. It keeps, as Giorgio says, “per-fect.”
On my next trip to Italy I’m going to try to finagle some pictures of the inside of people’s refrigerators to see how they store their cheese. I’m also going to experiment with this, and compare Taralluci bags to American cookie bags, foil paper and saran wrap. I’ll get back to you on the results in a future issue.
You can find Taralluci at many Italian shops in America. I know they’re at DiPalo’s, Dibruno’s, all the D shops. Or you can join me at the cheese fair in Bra this fall and we’ll get a few bags together.
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