What is Bra Tenero? An Italian Delicacy from the Province of Cuneo

Bra Tenero (ITALY) - Cheese Origin

Welcome to a journey through the lush green pastures of Cuneo, Italy, where we’ll discover an Italian delicacy that has been quietly stealing the hearts of cheese connoisseurs worldwide – Bra Tenero.

Known for its soft texture, creamy taste, and the complex symphony of flavors it offers, Bra Tenero is more than just a cheese; it’s an experience that transports you to the tranquil countryside of Italy with every bite.

Quick Facts About Bra Tenero

Country of OriginItaly
Age1 to 2 months; 8 to 9 months (Bra Duro)
MilkRaw Cow’s Milk
Weight and shape5 to 9 kg (11 to 19 lb 13 oz), Flat Wheel
SizeDiameter 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inches), Height 7 to 9 cm (3 to 3.5 inches)
TasteMild cheddar flavor, sweet, buttery, nutty
PairingLight-bodied red wines, most white wines
TextureSoft, mild
ColorRind: pale yellow; Inside: bright yellow

What is Bra Tenero?

Bra Tenero is an exquisite cheese that hails from the province of Cuneo, in the Piedmont region of Italy. This delightful dairy product is a testament to Italy’s rich culinary history and its passion for cheese-making. As a DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) cheese, Bra Tenero embodies the authentic taste and quality attributed to its geographical origin.

Crafted from full-cream cow’s milk, Bra Tenero boasts a very soft and elastic texture. Its creamy white color is as enticing as its flavor profile. The cheese matures into a cylindrical shape with a diameter of 30-40 cm and a convex edge of 7-9 cm, weighing between 6-8 kg. Each piece is carefully ripened for at least 45 days to develop its unique characteristics.

  • Bra Tenero: Aged for 45 to 60 days
  • Bra Duro: Aged for at least 180 days

What makes Bra Tenero truly stand out is its flavor. It hits the palate with an incredibly aromatic tang, stinging the tongue with its pleasant intensity. The cheese is sweet, buttery, and carries notes of cooked butter and nutmeg, making it a flavorful treat for any cheese lover.

Bra Tenero serves as a versatile addition to any culinary setting. It’s excellent as a table cheese or as an appetizer, pairing nicely with light-bodied red wines or a variety of white wines. Whether served on a cheese platter or melted into a gourmet dish, Bra Tenero brings a touch of Italian sophistication to your table.

Bra Tenero Tasting Notes

  • Texture: Bra Tenero is known for its soft, elastic texture. It has a creamy consistency that is pleasing to the palate. The cheese is not too firm nor too runny, striking a perfect balance.
  • Color: The cheese exhibits a creamy white color, which can vary slightly depending on the age of the cheese. Its rind is thin and smooth, adding to the overall visual appeal.
  • Aroma: Bra Tenero emits a unique aroma that is mildly intense yet inviting. It carries the scent of fresh milk with a hint of grassy notes, reflecting its natural origins.
  • Flavor: The flavor of Bra Tenero is complex and layered. It starts with a sweet, buttery taste followed by subtle notes of cooked butter and nutmeg which has a slight resemblance to mild cheddar. The end note leaves a pleasant tanginess on the tongue.
  • Aftertaste: The cheese leaves a long-lasting aftertaste that is mild yet distinctive. The lingering taste is a combination of sweet, creamy, and slightly salty elements.
  • Pairings: Bra Tenero pairs exceptionally well with light-bodied red wines and a variety of white wines. It also complements fruits like pears and apples, as well as honey and nuts.
  • Uses: This versatile cheese can be enjoyed as a table cheese, served as an appetizer, or incorporated into various dishes. Its melt-in-your-mouth quality makes it a great addition to sandwiches, pasta, and gourmet recipes.

What Pairs Well With Bra Tenero?

Bra Tenero pairing

Food that goes well with Bra Tenero:

CategoryFood Pairing with Bra Tenero
FruitsPears, Apples, Grapes
NutsAlmonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts
BreadsCiabatta, Baguette, Sourdough
MeatsProsciutto, Salami, Mortadella
CondimentsHoney, Fig Jam, Truffle Oil
VegetablesRoasted Bell Peppers, Marinated Artichokes, Grilled Zucchini
SeafoodSmoked Salmon, Grilled Shrimp, Seared Scallops
PastaFettuccine Alfredo, Mac and Cheese, Lasagna
DessertsDark Chocolate, Strawberry Tart, Blueberry Cheesecake

Also read: What Fruit Goes on a Charcuterie Board?

Beverage that goes well with Bra Tenero:

CategoryBeverage Pairing with Bra Tenero
White WinesChardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Gavi dei Gavi
Red WinesLight-bodied Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Barbera, dell’Uccellone
Sparkling WinesProsecco, Champagne, Cava
BeersBelgian Ale, Wheat Beer, Pilsner
CidersDry Apple Cider, Pear Cider, Peach Cider
Non-Alcoholic BeveragesSparkling Water, Herbal Tea, Fresh Apple Juice

Also read: Best Wine and Cheese Pairings: The Ultimate Guide

Where to Buy Bra Tenero:

More Cheeses from Italy:

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