The kind folks at BelGioioso sent me samples of their Crescenza-Stracchino and I thought it would be a pleasant alternative for homemade pizza…
Turns out I was right…
Crescenza-Stracchino is a fresh, milky, delicate cheese made from whole cow’s milk in the tradition of its Italian version.
The Italian version is made using “tired” milk; the autumn milk of cows returning from grazing in the Alpine meadows during the summer. After traversing the mountains they return “tired” and their milk has a higher fat and protein content. “Stracca” means tired in Italian.
By using whole milk, BelGioioso duplicates the rich creaminess of the Italian version. The BelGioioso cheese is made in small batches and small wheels weighing 3.5 pounds. The samples sent to me were 8 ounce squares.
Mild in flavor, the BelGioioso Crescenza-Stracchino has a pleasant tangy sourness that mozzarellas lack. This brings an interesting new flavor profile to pizza; one The Man and I both liked better than the blander mozzarella.
The next day, I topped some rolls with fresh herbs and the cheese and toasted them under the broiler – another yummy use.
I still have half of a package and plan to use it with fresh fruit, nuts and honey for a fresh summer salad.
I give Crescenza-Stracchino 4 Paws out of 4 Paws.
Here’s how I used the Crescenza-Stracchino on the pizza:
Ingredients for 1 large pizza:
Fresh Pizza Dough – I buy mine locally; enough to make one large 12-16″ pizza.
Flat-leafed Parsley – chopped coarse
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary – chopped coarse
1 Clove of garlic – chopped fine
Dried Italian herbs
EVOO – I add the herbs to the EVOO and allow to marinate for at least an hour.
Pizza or Marinara Sauce – I make my own using fresh tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, herbs and tomato sauce. There are several commercial choices that are tasty.
4 to 5 Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes (raw) – sliced thin and lengthwise
4 to 5 Asparagus Spears (raw) – shaved thin (cut tips into 3 or four slices)
1/4 pound Applegate Pepperoni – because it is a larger size, I cut into quarters
1/4 pound Prosciutto de Parma – sliced thin and into strips
1 Package of Crescenza-Stracchino – sliced thin
Pre-heat oven to 450° F degrees.
Coat dough with EVOO and allow to rise – about 90 minutes.
Chop your fresh herbs and marinate them, along with any dried herbs you might want to use, in the EVOO.
Prepare your toppings. I chose Russian Banana Fingerlings, Asparagus, Pepperoni and Prosciutto. You can make it simple or you can go gourmet.
Once the dough is raised, stretch it on you pizza stone or pan. You can control thickness or thinness by how much you stretch it.
Spread your herb-marinated EVOO on top of dough and then also spread the pizza sauce on the dough.
Add your toppings and top everything with the Crescenza-Stracchino.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes until dough is golden brown and cheese is bubbly and browning.
Let sit for a few minutes.
Servings: Enough for 2-3 persons.
FTC Full Disclosure – The producer sent me their product(s), without any obligation on my part, hoping I would review the product/cheese. For more information, please see my About Me page.