Caciotta (Ka cho ta) is a soft, white cow cheese, that melts beautifully. It’s my go-to cheese when we don’t have anything else in the house, and we’re hungry, as in hungry NOW.
I can’t find caciotta in New York City, even DiPaola’s on Grand St, who has one of the best Italian cheese selections in the city, looked at me cross eyed when I asked him for caciotta. It’s an everyday cheese, so I guess it’ just not special enough to import. Fools. You can substitute unsmoked scamorza and it’s pretty close.
We like caciotta best when I slice it up, cover the slices in fennel pollen and throw it into the oven until it melts. Fennel pollen is vastly under rated as a seasoning. It adds an earthy, nearly floral note to roasted meats, especially poultry. If you can’t find fennel pollen or flowers, grind up the seeds into powder. Sprinkle on, heat in the oven until the cheese is melted bubbly and it’s sort of like an instant fondue.
We eat it with a fork, all dripping off the fork, or sometimes we dunk some bread into the melted goodness. Make a salad, pour a cool white wine. End of story.
Hah – I know where to find it and I’ll show you when/if you ever return!
You’re on! If you find caciotta, I’ll bring you fennel pollen!
Please – it’s a done deal – Saxelby’s at Essex St. Mkt. has it from a NY producer whose wife offers food tours in Maremma.