Shopping cheese in the eternal city of Rome

SHOPPING CHEESE
Shopping cheese just off Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, Rome

Shopping cheese is perhaps not the first thing that springs to mind when visiting the eternal city. Rome is so much more of course. But being me that is certainly part of the experience. There was just one cheese shop that I had blinked out beforehand, and as it is, it was closed when we finally arrived there. It was situated in Trastevere and we went there on a Sunday, just that this particular Sunday happened to be Labour Day. So they were closed. Disappointing of course, since I had read so much about it. Antica Caciara is the name, and as it it I do not know if it is as good as described. You have to find out for yourself. That said, we had a wonderful, huge lunch at a restaurant called la Canonica. Very busy, very noisy and very typical Italian. At that time we had more or less given up shopping cheese in Rome. As it turned out there was an other opportunity, at the restaurant Rimessa Rascioli we learned they took their cheese from Beppe, a cheese shop situated in the Jewish ghetto. We went there on Friday night, but was denied access as we had brought no face masks. Saturday is was closed of course, and Sunday was again Labour day.

According to Mr Micawber, something will turn up

Some optimism in the midst of all the “misery”. Don’t get me wrong, no misery as such, Rome was wonderful. But Monday morning, time to return home and no cheese. On a stroll across the Campo de’ Fiori, though, after all, we stayed just a stone’s throw away, we realised there was sort of a hole in the wall cheese shop just off the marked. Two knowledgable guys. Probably my age if not older, one responsible for the cheese, the other for the charcuterie. Claudio came to my rescue. A very kind cheesemonger helping out with some local cheese. Well the Caciocavallo is not that local, but the others were. And no Pecorino – well they had lots of Pecorino, but I focused on those new to me, plus the Caciocavallo which is hard to get where I live. As it turned out Claudio is quite a famous cheese man. And it seems like he is now just enjoying life with a small shop selling quality cheese (and salami). So it seems, I might be wrong. I wish I had a cheese shop/deli at that location.

shopping cheese
Two happy guys – Claudio the cheesemonger and Yours truly.

Not that many cheeses though, but some real chunks. Ready for tasting and sharing. Apart from Pecorino Romano I am not familiar with the Roman cheese scene, i.e. cheeses from the area around Rome. So I look forward to digging in. The Italian thing is, they’re regional. If you go to France, by and large you’ll get French Cheese. In Italy you’ll get regional cheese, or local cheese if you like. I don’t think this shop had any of the more northern cheeses like Parmigiano, Grana Padano, or Gorgonzola. Quite famous around the world, but they’re “not from here” seems to be the attitude. Be aware of that when you plan cheese shopping in Italy. In the supermarkets, probably another story.

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