What is Stracchino?

Oregano can be used to season a stracchino spread.

Stracchino is a type of cheese that comes from the Lombardy region of Italy. Similar to cream cheese, stracchino is typically soft and creamy with a slightly acidic aftertaste. Typically featuring a high percentage of milk fat, this cheese is an excellent and unusual substitute for other cream cheeses.

Made with cow’s milk, this cheese is known for its delicate flavor and texture. Often eaten without aging, stracchino is excellent on its own or as a filling or topping. Stracchino is not a very common cheese outside of Italy, although some specialty or cheese shops probably sell it.

Stracchino cheese is made from cow’s milk.

The high fat content of milk, which can be as high as 50% in some varieties, is what gives this type of cheese its creamy consistency and rich yet delicate flavor. A very easy spreadable cheese, it is an excellent addition to jams or fruit preserves and is excellent simply to spread on biscuits. Some traditional Italian baked sandwich and foccaccia recipes use stracchino, but it is most often served as part of a cheese platter or simply along with a crusty bread or crackers.

It is important to note that this delicious cheese expires quickly; does not travel well and must be kept very cool. It is often packaged similarly to cubes or sticks of butter; It is usually wrapped in paper and placed inside an outer container to help keep the shape and cool temperature. Stracchino should be consumed a few days after purchase, or even immediately for the best flavor.

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Stracchino’s spreadable quality and light flavor make it an excellent cheese for mixing sauces and spreads. Chop up some traditional Italian herbs, such as oregano or basil, and mix into the cheese with a fork. Add some salt and pepper and spread generously over a baguette for a tasty cheese sandwich. Mix the stracchino with a firmer cheese, such as grated peppercorns, and form a rounded sphere that can be served with fruit and bread.

Chunks of this cheese can be crunched with herbs and nuts and tossed into salads to provide protein and calcium and provide a textural contrast with greens and vegetables. It is an excellent substitute for cream cheese in traditional lasagna recipes. Stracchino is also delicious on pizza, used as an additional topping on top of the regular cheese layer. It is an excellent substitute for saltier feta cheese or other cheeses used as toppings or calzone fillings.

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