Close your eyes and imagine the scene…
You’ve finally made the trip to Italy you’ve always dreamed of and arrived to behold a vision of rolling hills, sweeping vistas and vineyards as far as the eye can see.
The foodie within you has found its happy place in the tiny town of Castiglione Falletto in the Langhe region.
This area is home to not only some of the world’s finest wines, including Barolo, also known as the “King of Wines” but also to one of the world’s most delicious cheeses, Robiola or Robiola Bosina – the variety we’ll be covering in this article.
With a texture similar to Brie, this cheese is one of the true favorites amongst aficionados of softer cheeses.
If you’ve never had the occasion to try it and your wondering what Robiola tastes like, you might be surprised. Robiola has a slightly buttery, fruity taste, paired with a hint of earthiness, similar to what you might expect from a lightly sauteed mushroom. What aftertaste there is could best be described as slightly sour, with a touch of creaminess.
Table of Contents
How Do You Serve (Eat) Robiola Cheese?
Robiola is best served at room temperature if you’re eating with appetizers. One of the earliest known ways to eat was quite simple by itself, with just a touch of honey.
It spreads evenly and smoothly on bread like bruschetta, crackers or toasts and pairs well with most cured and smoked meats like ham, prosciutto, or smoked salmon.
Robiola also works well in a variety of entrees, including its trademark dish, Risotto Robiola.
Some ideas to try include other pasta dishes, grilled or roasted veggies, and even in desserts like Panna Cotta. Its texture and smooth taste are a delight and will only add another dimension of flavor to your cooking.
Is Robiola Cheese Pasteurized?
Yes, Robiola cheese is pasteurized.
It’s a blend of cow milk, goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. This blending of two or more milks has led some to term it “due latte”, or literally translated “two milks”.
While the pasteurized version is the most readily available, some have made the pilgrimage to Italy to enjoy it raw and unpasteurized, which can’t be done in the United States.
And yes, they absolutely love it that way.
It’s been described as cloudlike and having the same flavor profile as a mixture of raw peanuts and fresh cut grass.
What Cheese Is Similar to Robiola?
If you’re new to Robiola, then it makes sense to compare it with soft cheeses you might have eaten in the past. Soft cheeses aren’t for everyone, but for those that love them, there’s no substitute. If that sounds like you, then we’ll look at some popular Robiola cheese substitutes.
Robiola vs Brie
Robiola is similar to Brie in terms of texture and mouthfeel. Like Brie, it spreads easily and evenly when warmed. Take care not to overheat though, as it may have a tendency to turn runny.
Some Brie lovers know it can have a chalky aftertaste occasionally, but that’s not going to be the case with Robiola because of its three cheese blend. You also won’t find the familiar tanginess of Brie with Robiola – it’s creamy and subtle by comparison.
Robiola vs Ricotta
Robiola and Ricotta share a similar creamy texture, although as anyone familiar with Ricotta will tell you, it is also slightly grainy. Robiola doesn’t have that characteristic.
In terms of flavor, Ricotta is well known for milky sweetness, which is because of its primary ingredients of fresh milk and whey. As described earlier in this article, Robiola has an earthy, fruity flavor with a slightly sour aftertaste.
Robiola vs Mascarpone
Robiola and Mascarpone differ both in texture and flavor. Sold in most deli grocery sections, Mascarpone is like American cream cheese with twice the amount of fat. Although Robiola can be spread easily at room temperature, it lacks the silky creaminess of Mascarpone.
Mascarpone is also noticeably sweeter and milkier when compared to Robiola’s earthy, subtle, mushoom-like flavor.
Lastly, Robiola relies at least partly on rennet, which is a thickening agent naturally produced by ruminant animals, Mascarpone does not use it. Rather, Mascarpone uses either citric or tartic acid to thicken it.