Where to Buy Basket Cheese: A Guide to Finding this Traditional Delicacy
Basket cheese, also known as Ricotta Infornata or Ricotta Salata, is a traditional Italian cheese that has gained popularity in recent years. This unique cheese is made by draining and pressing fresh ricotta cheese, resulting in a firm, dry texture that is perfect for grating or slicing. If you are a fan of Italian cuisine or simply enjoy exploring new flavors, you may be wondering where to buy basket cheese. In this article, we will guide you through the various options available and provide answers to common questions about this delectable cheese.
1. What is basket cheese and how is it made?
Basket cheese is a type of Italian cheese made from ricotta cheese. It is formed by draining and pressing the ricotta in a basket or mold, removing excess moisture and creating a firm texture.
2. Can basket cheese be substituted with other cheeses?
While basket cheese has a unique flavor and texture, it can be substituted with other hard cheeses such as Pecorino Romano or Parmesan in some recipes.
3. Is basket cheese available in regular grocery stores?
While some larger grocery store chains may carry basket cheese, it is more commonly found in specialty Italian markets or cheese shops.
4. Where can I find a specialty Italian market?
You can search online directories or ask locals for recommendations to find a specialty Italian market in your area. Alternatively, you can also consider purchasing basket cheese from online retailers.
5. Are there any online retailers that sell basket cheese?
Yes, there are several online retailers that offer basket cheese. Websites such as Amazon, igourmet, and Italian Food Online Store are popular choices.
6. Can basket cheese be shipped internationally?
Yes, many online retailers that sell basket cheese offer international shipping. However, it is important to check the shipping policies and costs before making a purchase.
7. Are there any specific brands of basket cheese that I should look for?
While there are many reputable brands of basket cheese available, some popular choices include Locatelli, BelGioioso, and Ferrante.
8. Is basket cheese available year-round?
Yes, basket cheese is typically available year-round, although its popularity may increase during certain seasons, such as Easter.
9. Can I make basket cheese at home?
Yes, it is possible to make basket cheese at home. However, it requires some expertise and specialized equipment, so it may be easier to purchase it from a store or online.
10. How should basket cheese be stored?
Basket cheese should be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container. It is best consumed within a week of purchase.
11. What are some popular recipes that use basket cheese?
Basket cheese can be used in a variety of recipes. It is often grated over pasta dishes, added to salads, or served alongside fresh fruits and honey as a dessert.
12. What is the flavor profile of basket cheese?
Basket cheese has a mild and slightly salty flavor. Its texture is firm and crumbly, making it a versatile cheese for various culinary applications.
In conclusion, basket cheese is a delicious Italian delicacy that can elevate your culinary creations. While it may not be readily available in regular grocery stores, specialty Italian markets and online retailers offer a wide selection of basket cheese options. Whether you are looking to add a unique twist to your pasta dishes or explore new flavors, basket cheese is a must-try cheese for all cheese enthusiasts.