Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Product Review: Mitica: Sottocenere al Tartufo cheese

The name of this Italian cheese actually tells you something about it instead of telling you where it was first made (Venice [1]). The word sottocenere means "under ash". This refers to the gray rind which is made of ash with a blend of spices, including anise, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel, and nutmeg.[2] The second part, al tartufo, means "with truffles". Throughout the cheese are little shavings of black truffle and the ash rind also has white truffle oil in it.[3]

I thought the cheese itself was like Mozzarella but creamier. The truffle flavor is just enough to catch your breath a little (and just a bit too intense for my taste). Even when I melted it over French Bread it was too much for me—but Leann loved it. Trust me when I say you shouldn't try eating the rind.


[1] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sottocenere al tartufo.

[2] See http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-we-can-eat/recipes/say-cheese-sottocenere-al-tart.html.

[3] A true white truffle oil is olive oil that has been infused with white truffles. The vast majority, though, are olive oil with a synthetic truffle flavor—2,4-dithiapentane (shown above).

Image attributions:

The chemical structure of 2,4-dithiapentane is by Jérôme, available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2,4-dithiapentane.svg. 


  1. Oddly I find the fruit pictured with the cheese more appealing. :-) But then there were strawberries. Gotta have strawberries.

  2. The fruit does look pretty good (and it was pretty good).

  3. The rind is good if it's not a huge portion. It reminds me of sidewalk bubblegum.

  4. A wonderful cheese but like most different cheeses your tastebuds will have to adjust or acquire a taste for it. But one you decide that your ready for trying new cheeses your not going to go back to american and cheddar... Lol but you will like this cheeses my girlfriend wanted to see what all the fuss was about and she's a bit pickier than me on food but loves this cheese.

  5. This cheese is great maybe a little pungent may take awhile to love it but when you acquire the taste for it you won't argue at 29.99 a pound its a great cheese...