ubriaco cheese is a new discovery for me, thanks to my friend jude who presented me with a huge piece recently. and it is a discovery that is definitely worth making if you get the chance.
ubriaco is an italian cheese and the name itself means “drunk.” this cow's milk cheese (pronounced oo-bree-ah-koo) originates from ancient times in the friuli venezia giulia region. it is preserved by immersing it in fermenting wine – usually a mixture of merlot, cabernet and raboso grapes. this process forms a fabulous violet rind.
it is a traditional, hard cheese with an intense nutty flavour that is not dissimilar to parmesan. apparently it also has a hint of pineapple but i didn’t really notice that.
the nicest way that i’ve used the ubriaco was in a pear, walnut and honey salad, which was a perfect starter for an italian meal of marcella hazan’s spareribs pan-roasted with sage and white wine treviso style, sliced potatoes baked with porcini and fresh mushrooms riviera style and my version of lemony spinach.
ubriaco, pear and walnut salad
salad dressing made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper
pear slices (half a pear per person, sliced into 4 with core removed)
shavings of ubriaco cheese (or parmesan)
toss the rocket leaves in the balsamic dressing and arrange on your serving plates. arrange the pear, toasted walnuts and cheese on top of the leaves. drizzle a little honey over the pear slices then serve.