As I was strolling home with my husband, in Italy, last month, I decided to walk into a latteria where I had bought cheese before... good, excellent cheese, all made locally with good, "dietetici" (organic) ingredients.
There's something special about entering a "Latticini" shop, in Italy: the heat makes these shops smell really lovely and homely and you want to buy everything!
The first thing I noticed, was a string of cheese animals, hanging in the background. I had to buy one, as my mum always bought me a Porcellino di Scamorza (Scamorza cheese piglet) when we went food shopping together. Then (this is actually the reason why I went in the shop) I saw the QUEEN of all cheeses: BURRATA. I bought a really big burrata nicely wrapped up in white paper and a baby one.
Next, I asked the man to cut me a nice slice of scamorzone... a beautiful big cheese, hard on the outside, but soft and almost spongy on the inside and slightly reminiscent of the gorgeous natural sponges you buy on the Greek Islands, or of your mum's breasts (really!)
I also bought another local delicacy: ricotta piccante (hot ricotta) which is spreadable and delicious. It looks like butter, but you have with with some pasta dishes and wherever you think you need a bit of a hot "kick." It's good on bruschetta, too!
I took my "Pot of gold" to my sister's house. I worried about the cheese, as we walked, as the midday sun was so hot. As we walked, we saw enormous cacti, banana plants, oranges and lemons, all growing in ordinary gardens. The sun made me feel hot, but happy. I can so easily forget who I am, when the sun takes over my mind! It makes me so dizzy!
When we got back, we placed all the cheese in the fridge. My big burrata was so big and beautiful, and such a rare thing (you only get real burrata in Bari, as it doesn't travel at all, and you should really eat it straight away.) A burrata is like a ball of mozzarella (on the outside) totally filled with best cream and shreds of the most fantastic mozzarella you have ever eaten. It's sexy, beautiful, round and "juicy" and... I LOVE IT!
That evening, as I went to take the pig from the cheese platter, I looked at my brother in law, Franco. With a very fast move, he took my cheese, and, in one gulp, he ate it! "Stop, stop!" I wanted to cry "You are eating my pig!" But there... he was chewing it, and swallowed it in one go, MY PIG!
He ate it and I didn't even have time to chant, like the pigs did in the story " By the hair on my chinny chin chin I won't let you in!" The wolf ate the pig and all that was left was a bit of green string... the collar! Sigh! NO!
I was so upset, I could have cried... he ate my pig! Good job the nicely chilled Prosecco was on the table. I had to drown my sorrow, didn't I? OINK!... OINK! OINK! Cin Cin!