Located in the town of Verbania, in the Piedmont region of Italy, La Casera was founded by Guiseppe Buratti and his wife Carla with the help of their sons Eros and Angelo as a cheese shop.
As Guiseppe’s son Eros worked in the family business, he grew to love it and eventually took over the company. By 1991, he had built working relationships with cheese-makers throughout the region surrounding Verbania as well as Italy as a whole. ln 2006, Eros built a ripening laboratory, and a natural cheese cave, enabling him to ripen the cheeses for his shop himself. At the same time the company began selling its cheeses on a national basis. Although still located in Verbania, the company now sells its cheese throughout Europe, the United States and Japan.
Nocciolo is a cow’s milk cheese with a burnt orange colored washed-rind that is moist to the touch. This is the result of frequent brine baths that the cheese receives during aging.
Underneath the rind is an off-white paste that is smooth toward the rind and dotted with eyes near the center. The texture is dense, but when fully mature (around 2.5 months in age) the paste is yielding and supple. When young, at a little over a month old, Nocciolo can be crumbly toward the center.
The cheese has strong umami aromas with notes of nuts and tropical fruit. Flavors are of sweet roasted hazelnuts with a yogurt-like tang and milkiness.
With its nutty flavors and rich texture, Nocciolo is best paired with a nutty beer such as an Irish Cream Ale. It can also be paired with brut sparkling wines, especially those that have toasted brioche in their flavor profiles. Serve this cheese with fresh stone fruit such as apricots or nectarines.