Robiola Tre Latti: A Gateway to the Robiola Family

November 14, 2010

Robiola Tre Latti is an easy-to-please cheese and offers a good introduction to the Robiola family of cheeses. Robiolas are often available pre-wrapped at specialty cheese shops and grocery stores, but I have hesitated from purchasing one.  I am glad we waited for Robiola Tre Latti.

Robiolas are produced in Northern Italy, yet the family includes a variety of soft cheeses: some are made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk or mixed milks (including sheep’s milk);  they are produced in different formats; some have washed rinds; and, some cheeses come to market trussed up in leaves.

Robiola Tre LattiOur Robiola Tre Latti comes from the Piedmont region of Italy.  It is made from a combination of cow, sheep and goat milks (tre latti = three milks).  It is produced in a thick disc format and has a natural rind.  Our sample is one-half of a whole cheese.

Robiola Tre Latti has a rustic appearance.  The rind looks like a thin layer of raw pie pastry: it is a buttery beige with patches of golden yellow.  The rind shows grooves and wrinkles from the cheese form used in the cheese’s production.   Robiola Tre Latti has a sticky, gooey layer of paste just beneath its rind.  The cheese’s core is damp and dense with a consistency similar to chevre.

Robiola Tre Latti has a county fair bouquet.  The rind has both animal and farm odors that are apparent when the cheese is held under the nose.  Ben also mentioned “school floors,” detecting a faint ammonia scent on the rind.    The paste has sweet scents similar to daises and beeswax.

Robiola Tre Latti’s flavors are varied.  We tasted sweet honey, sour milk, and tart fruit flavors.  The gooey layer beneath the rind has a creamy consistency similar to Camembert and tastes more sour and tangy than the more dense and tart core.  Its texture is soft and luscious in the mouth.

Robiola Tre Latti is very easy to enjoy.  We all liked this cheese and its combination of flavors and textures.  Robiola Tre Latti is a could substitute for dessert; it is sweet and luscious, but not overly rich. It’s a little decadent for a snack.

This cheese became a bit messy out of refrigeration and was difficult to unwrap and keep intact; I think our sample was also missing its bottom rind.  If the denser paste becomes more oozy as the cheese ripens, this cheese would become even more challenging to serve.

Purchase Notes:  We purchased Robiola Tre Latti from Cheese Plus (San Francisco).  I do not know how ripe our sample was, but it was at an ideal point for us.


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