Featured Cheese of the Week: Sottocenere


The Italian cheese called Sottocenere, or “under ash” in its mother tongue, is our pick this week.  Crafted from pasteurized cow’s milk in the Veneto region of northern Italy, sottocenere al tartufo, as it’s formally called, is a unique and unforgettable cheese.  Being laced with small black truffle slivers and coated in part with truffle oil- hence the “al tartufo”- the predominate aroma and flavor you can expect is that of the elegant and woodsy mushroom, but the sweetness of the cow’s milk does come through and lingers on.  Its rind is a brittle, almost flaky, blend of spices and herbs including nutmeg, coriander, fennel, licorice, and cinnamon, along with the aforementioned truffle oil and, of course, ash.  Under the ash, its paste has a semi-soft, creamy, closed texture.  This is a bold cheese which can bring a touch of sophistication to any dish involving a melting cheese and can really stand on its own with some crunchy bread and a fruity red wine.