What is Quartirolo Lombardo? A PDO Cheese from Lombardy

Quartirolo Lombardo (ITALY) - Cheese Origin

Quartirolo Lombardo is a distinctive, PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) certified cheese hailing from the enchanting region of Lombardy, Italy. This unique dairy marvel is renowned for its soft texture and slightly tangy flavor that stems from the rich Lombard pastures.

The cheese undergoes a special maturation process which adds to its characteristic depth of flavor. Quartirolo Lombardo is not just a cheese, it’s a testament to Lombardy’s rich culinary heritage and a must-try for any cheese enthusiast!

Quick Facts About Quartirolo Lombardo

Country of OriginItaly
AOP/PDOSince 1996
ClassificationFresh cheese, semi-soft
MilkRaw cow’s milk
Dates back10th century
RindSoft, thin, natural
Length18 to 22 cm (7 to 8.5 inches)
Width4 to 8 cm (1.5 to 3 inches)
Height (thickness)4 to 8 cm (1.5 to 3 inches)
ShapeFlat square
Weight2.5 kg (5.5 lb)
Fat content9%
Age5 to 10 days (first aging), at least 40 days (mature)
AromaYogurt, milky, wild herbs
TasteRefreshing, sour, sweet, hint of tart flavor
PairingBruschetta, salad, pasta, risotto
Beverage pairingValbissera di san Colombano, Malvasia delle Lipari
TextureFriable, grainy
ColorIvory white (first aging), grey-green reddish (later stages of aging)

What is Quartirolo Lombardo?

What is Quartirolo Lombardo?

Quartirolo Lombardo is a delightful secret from the dairy heartland of Italy, Lombardy. This traditional cheese is a testament to the region’s rich pastoral heritage and its knack for creating culinary masterpieces. The name Quartirolo Lombardo is intriguing in itself, taking inspiration from the “fourth grass” or “quarto pelo,” referring to the seasonal grass that grows in late summer and early fall, which gives the cheese its unique flavor.

This soft table cheese is renowned for its characteristic square shape and thin rind that encases a creamy, pale white, or straw-yellow interior. With a slightly tangy yet sweet taste, Quartirolo Lombardo presents an interesting blend of flavors that can range from mild when young, to robust and full-bodied as it matures.

What sets Quartirolo Lombardo apart is its Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, which ensures that every step of the cheese-making process, from milk production to aging, strictly adheres to regional traditions. The cheese is made from cow’s milk, and the distinct flavor profile is attributed to the specific diet of the cows grazing on the lush pastures of Lombardy during different seasons.

Quartirolo Lombardo Tasting Notes

  • Texture: Quartirolo Lombardo has a soft and creamy texture. Younger versions of the cheese are more delicate and spreadable, while the matured ones develop a firmer texture.
  • Color: The cheese boasts a pale white to straw-yellow color depending on its age. The rind is thin and soft, often bearing the marks of the cloth in which it was wrapped during the production process.
  • Flavor: The flavor profile of Quartirolo Lombardo is intriguing. When young, the cheese has a mildly tangy yet sweet taste with a hint of grassiness. As it ages, the flavor becomes more robust and full-bodied, offering a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter notes.
  • Aroma: Quartirolo Lombardo emits a fresh and milky aroma, reminiscent of the lush pastures of Lombardy. The scent intensifies as the cheese matures, becoming more complex and captivating.
  • Aftertaste: The aftertaste of Quartirolo Lombardo lingers pleasantly on the palate. It leaves behind a subtly tart and tangy note that makes you reach for another piece.
  • Culinary Uses: Quartirolo Lombardo can be used in a range of dishes. Its ability to melt well makes it an excellent topping for pizzas and gratins. It can also be diced into salads, sliced for sandwiches, or simply savored on its own.

7 Best Quartirolo Lombardo Substitutes

SubstituteFlavor ProfileTextureBest Used In
Mild CheddarMild, slightly tangy.Firm, crumbly.Salads, sandwiches, toppings.
ColbyMild, creamy.Semi-hard, elastic.Sandwiches, burgers, salads.
Monterey JackMild, buttery, slightly tart.Smooth, creamy.Nachos, quesadillas, casseroles.
HavartiMild, slightly tangy, buttery.Semi-soft, creamy.Sandwiches, cheese boards, toppings.
MuensterMild, smooth, slightly tangy.Semi-soft, smooth.Grilled cheese, mac and cheese, burgers.
ProvoloneMild to sharp depending on aging.Semi-hard, smooth.Sandwiches, pizza, pasta dishes.
American CheeseMild, creamy.Soft, creamy.Burgers, sandwiches, melting dishes.

What Pairs Well With Quartirolo Lombardo?

Food that goes well with Quartirolo Lombardo:

CategoryFood Pairings with Quartirolo Lombardo
Bread/BiscuitsBaguette, Ciabatta, Crackers
FruitsApples, Pears, Grapes, Figs
MeatsProsciutto, Salami, Mortadella
VegetablesTomatoes, Roasted Bell Peppers, Grilled Zucchini
Nuts & SeedsWalnuts, Almonds, Pine Nuts
Condiments & SpreadsHoney, Fig Jam
DessertsDark Chocolate, Fruit Tarts
SeafoodSmoked Salmon, Grilled Shrimp
Pasta & GrainsRavioli, Gnocchi, Risotto
Herbs & SpicesBasil, Oregano, Rosemary, Black Pepper

Beverage that goes well with Quartirolo Lombardo:

CategoryBeverage Pairings with Quartirolo Lombardo
White WineSauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio
Red WineBarbera, Valpolicella, Dolcetto
SpiritsGrappa, Aperol Spritz
Non-AlcoholicSparkling Water, Fresh Apple Juice
BeerPilsner, Wheat Beer, Blonde Ale

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

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