Robiola is a soft cheese from the Stracchino family that comes from Northern Italy, generally from the valleys in Piedmont and Lombardy. It is a very ancient cheese and its’ origins go back to the time when Celtic Liguri tribes ruled Italy. Robiola was even mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History.
Robiola is made with a mixture of cow, goat and sheep milk. There are a few different versions of Robiola. From Lombardy, it tends to be whitish in color and have a rind while the Piedmont version is more yellow in color, is fresher and sometimes is used as a topping on pizza.
There is one DOP or Denominazione di Origine Protetta version of Robiola called Robiola di Roccaverano DOP.
Robiola di Roccaverano is full-fat cheese that doesn’t ripen or age. It is made from a blend of up to 50% goat milk with the remaining 50% of sheep or cow milk or a mixture of both. Robiola di Roccaverano does not have a rind and is quite delicate in taste.
Roccaverano is a town in the province of Asti in Piedmont.
Robiola can be delicious with vegetables. An easy apertif would be a crostino or bread slice with robiola, radicchio or arugula.
Toast the bread and spread some olive oil on it, then add the Robiola, the vegetable which you can saute’ for a few minutes in butter, and eccoti…a lovely crostino.
Robiola is quite high in fat and therefore works very well with a wine with high acidity such as Barbera or Sangiovese. The two complement each other and neither one dominates. The cheese is relatively easy to find in the United States as well. Formaggio Essex could be a good place to start looking for this scrumptious cheese.