Of course it’s Cheese from OCELLO!
Hey All! …
Thank you once again for stopping by. My food-focused self is all about CHEESE today! I love cheese – melted cheese, fresh cheese, aged cheese – all cheese everythang, everyday!
So … the “Exclusive Cheese Experience” package entails:
– A presentation & education by a cheese specialist (envy her job) of Ocello’s history in the Cheese Maturation Room
– 3 cheeses with their 3 matching wines either from an Italian, French, European or Australian Menu.
– Tea or Coffee.
Formaggio Ocello is a family-owned business specialising in importing and selling cheese from Italy, France & Australia, alongside with many other unique Italian delicacies & groceries PLUS they are also like a mini-cafe … Serving fresh cheese platters, coffee, sweet treats, deli type sandwiches & more! Decor is very rustic, with an organic country feel. We commenced the experience with a “cheese education” in the cool cheese maturation room. My god – was this cheese heaven?! Didn’t know where to look and I have to admit that I was so fascinated by the abundance of cheese.
The chosen ITALIAN cheeses (L-R):
1) Pecorino in Grotta
2) Mixed Milk Robiola
3) Gorgonzola Dolce LatteHere are some photos from the heavenly cheese room … And yes there is finally a photo of me & my brooding Italian boyfriend (not much of a smiler as you can see haha) … It was a real cheese education – although not only just this, but we were also given a of history of the business. As a family-owned business, they take pride in introducing quality products from continents away … After all, just because Australia is so far from everywhere else, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some fine delicacies. Cheese and other products are flown on a regular basis to their Surry Hills “home” … And they also sell some of their products at the Entertainment Quarter Village Markets every Saturday, 8am-2pm, Growers Markets (Pyrmont) and North Sydney – see their website for more details.Ushered back to our tables, a selection of 3 wines to match the above cheese selection awaits us with a basket of grissini (breadsticks) and Italian flatbread-type crackers. Who would have known that a simple heavenly spread could bring some much happiness!Our cheese expert advised us to leave the blue cheese Gorgonzola (right) for last as it’s the one paired with the sweet wine … Now look at the photo & see how much I wanted Gorgonzola first?! … With its soft, melting-oozing-like texture calling me …
Starting with the Mixed Milk Robiola, paired with a crisp, refreshing fruity white wine: 2012 Cantra’ Soarda, Vespaiolo (Veneto, Italy). This pale mixed-milk cheese is a spreadable rich & creamy type cheese with velvety tones made from cow, sheep & goat’s milk and encased in a soft mould rind. What makes this cheese unique is that it’s very adaptable in taste – depending what you served with this … It was very velvety & rich in taste so for example pairing it on flat crackers, because of the simplicity of this – you could taste the little complexities of the cheese – whereas smearing it on a grissini it gave some extra texture. Also given a small dish of the Chestnut Fruit Mustard – when adding this as an accompaniment, it altered the cheese to become more sweet tasting! Just adding a touch gave it this a slight honey jam-like taste …
Next was the Pecorino, paired with a medium-bodied savoury dark fruited wine: 2012 Prunotto, Barbera a’Alba (Piedmont, Italy). This was a light-yellow-toned cheese – with smooth, hard-textured had a lot of bite – very unique in flavour especially because this one has been coated in hay to mature unique herbaceous undertones. It’s such a shame that you can’t eat the entire coating with hay – it would be very interesting to try but the coating is wax after all. We found that the closer to the rind, the more aged, strong & flavour-filled the cheese is. This is a perfect savoury-style cheese on it’s own paired with a medium-bodied wine … It’s important that the neither the wine or cheese boldly outshine each other …
Lastly … my favourite: Gorgonzola Dolce Latte – HELLO, where have you been all my life?! This is a milder version of this popular blue cheese. “Dolce Latte” meaning “sweet milk” is a smooth, creamy, rich & delicate cheese that really melts in your mouth. It tastes ever bit delightful as much as it looks. Paired with one of the most incredible Italian dessert wine: 2009 La Nicchia, Passito di Pantelleria (Sicily, Italy), this was a match made in wine & cheese heaven … This Italian Passito made from dried muscat grapes it created a sweet, honey taste with apricots – an incredible balance of sweetness without being sickly – it was simply a beautiful wine. When I added a dabble of the Chestnut Fruit Mustard to the Gorgonzola Dolce Latte this was sweet cheese dessert accompaniment – this cheese just gave me wave of wonderfulness!
Panforte Panpepato is like a fruit cake – my palate was filled with christmas fruit cake spices and delights … It’s a typical Italian dessert/cake. The consistency is a little bit chewy – they have a wide variety created with different nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts), dried or glaced fruits (cherries, orange, fig) & flavours such as chocolate. Perfect as a small sweet dish with a glass of wine or coffee … Stayed tuned – I will be blogging more about this dessert later down the track … Here are a few more photos of the shop area filled with an abundance of cheese, condiments & groceries from Italy, France, Australia and other parts of Europe. I must admit that I was incredibly overwhelmed with the variety and didn’t know where to look, what to drool over and what to buy!
This is a bag of our purchases for the day: Grissini, Chestnut Mustard, Gorgonzola, 3 Milk Cheese & Truffle Olive Oil … And I also need to mention that you can make purchases online: Ocello Online Shop (Cheese only for Sydney Metro area and hampers/groceries are available Australia-wide)Please check out Ocello – I guarantee if you are a true lover of cheese (& have a fine appreciation for quality products) you will not be disappointed!
Have a cheese-filled weekend happy people! … Sending you all food-love … Til next post …
Shop 16/425 Bourke St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
CLOSED – every Monday
Tues – Sun open 10am to 6pm