For over 2000 years, Cantal DOP has been made in the Auvergne territory of France’s south-central department of Cantal. This region has always been known as the "Green Country," since volcanic enriched valleys, formed by the surrounding, extinct volcanoes, are drenched with powerful mountain storms, resulting in incredibly lush, extremely fertile pastures that are filled with distinctively particular flora. Here, nature is remarkably preserved.
Born out of necessity, this large-format fromage was how local inhabitants, far from mainstream traffic, survived harsh winters. But this pressed, uncooked cheese shares the region’s name and became protected in 1956, also because Cantal so perfectly displays the area’s extraordinary geographical character.
Made exclusively from regional cow’s milk, traditional cheese-making techniques have ensured survival of Cantal’s specific taste and aroma. When young, aged up to three months, the cheese takes on its signature sweet, milky butteriness with hazelnut and licorice accents. Further refining strengthens Cantal’s hallmark flavors, darkens the semi-firm, close-textured, smooth, ivory paste and thickens the powdery, dry rind.
This iconic cheese has caught attention throughout the millennia, from Pliny the Elder’s 1st Century AD reference in his “Historia Naturalis,” to King Louis XIV court, by way of the Count of Auvergne, to modern French poets who continue to marvel at Cantal’s refined simplicity. Cantal is not just an ancient taste of rural France; it is timeless.
Application: Traditionally served as a table cheese at the end of a meal, Cantal makes a great snack at any time of day, going well with seafood, nuts, apples, grapes and berries. It is also a great ingredient for cooking. Cantal melts well, without being stringy, and adds flavor to salads, soups, fondue or gratins. Cantal is also featured in the Auverge specialty, Alligot, made with mashed or pureed potatoes and melted Cantal.
Pairing: Cantal works especially well with fruit forward wines. A great red pairing would be a Cotes du Rhone from the nearby Rhone region or a Beaujolais from Burgundy. For a white, a Chenin Blanc from the Loire brings out nutty accents.
Mandorla Croccante by Pisti
Product Details: #058719 | 12/250 g
Founded by two young Sicilians with a deep passion for preserving Sicilian tradition, Pistì’s artisanal sweets are handmade according to recently rediscovered recipes. Located in the Southern Italian landscape surrounding Mount Etnea, Europe’s largest active volcano, Pistì uses only the best, most carefully selected, natural ingredients with no additives or preservatives.
Pistì Mandorla Croccante (meaning crunchy with almonds), is an extremely popular sweet throughout Italy, especially Sicily. Made with the famous Avola Sicilian almonds that are mixed with caramelized Sicilain honey from Zagara d’Arancio (orange blossoms) grown in Zafferana Etnea, Mandorla Croccante hardens into a delightful, brittle-type candy. Finally it is packaged in an elegant box for the world to enjoy.
Great as a sweet snack, Mandorla Croccante is also delicious served with coffee or crushed to fill cannoli and top ice cream and many other desserts. Mandorla Croccante is also a traditional favorite enjoyed over the holidays.