Friday, February 1, 2008

In Praise of Piave

Everyone knows Parmigiano Reggiano. Pecorino Romano is a staple for grating and eating. Provolone lands on pizza and baked pasta. But how many people knows about Piave?

Not much. Piave is a little known miracle. In the words of a co-worker and friend, it's like "sex on the tongue." And that is something Reggiano can never claim.

In contrast to the sharp, salty and granular texture of reggiano is Piave's smooth, fruity and silky texture. It's produced further the north, in Veneto, and uses pasteurized instead of raw milk. The end result is so much more pleasant than reggiano, so much smoother, that it becomes unfaultable.

Tonight, I had piave with a youthful sangiovese (Casamatta 2004, Toscana). The fragrant berries melted into the cheese, together they mingled on the tongue, one clinging, and the other, with its bright acid, uplifting and carrying it away. Beautiful.

Find yourself some old Piave. After the first encounter, you will never be far from it.