Cheese Love: Sartori Balsamic Bellavitano

For those Gentle Readers who have been reading with one eye, you may open both, Fig Week has ended. If you’re lactose intolerant, I apologize again, but this post will be a quick one. The Whole Foods, in their infinite wisdom, put out a sample of Sartori Balsamic Bellavitano, and Team Practical Cook said “yes, please.”

The Wrapper, a Siren Song

The Wrapper, a Siren Song

So taking The Practical Cooks Junior to the Whole Foods at snack time is the equivalent of unleashing Homer Simpson on a buffet. I have to own that. We often end up buying something to cover up the extreme and somewhat professional grazing by my budding foodistas. And, just as often, the sample doesn’t live up to the hype. Not this time.

Sartori Balsamic BellaVitano in the Wild

Sartori Balsamic BellaVitano in the Wild

Though I’m sure this cheese would pair well with wine, it has pretty much been eaten as fast as it has been cubed. It is salty and fairly firm, almost crumbly, like Parmesan, with a slightly sweet rind, that hints of good balsamic vinegar. It is a palate-cleansing cheese, and goes well with sliced apples or pears.

I would eat this at the end of a meal, not as an appetizer. It’s a closer, complete and complex. Seriously, go try to find this cheese and see what you think. A few cubes is all it takes. I had to sample it while taking pictures of it. And that is why samples are so effective.

Do you graze in the grocery store? Ever had this cheese? Comments are welcome. There’s a whole space for them. Go ahead, don’t be shy.

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Filed under On the Table, Snacks

8 responses to “Cheese Love: Sartori Balsamic Bellavitano

  1. Vanessa

    Yes, I just bought this cheese at the new grocery store by my house (Mariano’s). It was also a sample, and I fell in cheese love! It’s now my favorite cheese! I just went apple picking this weekend and have some amazing honey crisp apples that will go perfectly with this cheese:)

    • The Practical Cook

      I’m so glad to hear you are also a fan, sucked in by the sample. I am slightly obsessed with Honeycrisp apples as well. Good to know they pair nicely. I’m pondering a salad with apples, bellavitano, and pecans or walnuts. Probably buttercrunch lettuce and a light dressing. Test kitchen!

      • Vanessa

        I was just trying to figure out if I wanted to use this cheese in a recipe (it’s so tasty on it’s own). That salad sounds delicious, though! I may have to try it.

        I was also trying to figure out a good salad vinaigrette (sp?) that uses fresh fruit (I have some really sweet strawberries and cherries, I thought using one of these in the dressing would be great). I made a warm spinach salad (sauteed red bell pepper, sweet onion,and bacon– and the spinach just for a few seconds) tonight for dinner, but didn’t find a good vinaigrette for it. I just used a good balsalmic, olive oil, honey, some lemon juice and salt and pepper. Let me know if you have a good vinaigrette recipe that uses some type of fruit. Thanks:)

      • The Practical Cook

        Mmm, I like the sounds of your spinach salad. And fruit dressings sound good as well. One thing, I tend to use fruit in the salad instead of in the dressing, if that’s an option. I had a great salad with berries and a straightforward balsamic. Here’s my go-to balsamic dressing.

        If you want to puree and include the fruit, try a derivative of the Fig Salad Dressing. Basically equal parts fruit, vinegar, 1.5 as much oil, and a dash of something like Dijon to tart it up, balance it out. Salt to taste.

        Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

  2. Pingback: Sartori Salad with Apples and Walnuts | The Practical Cook

  3. Costco is now selling this cheese in 1-1.5lb wedges. $7.59/lb is great. What a great cheese this is. Be careful! Once you start sampling it you may not stop. I am not sure if this cheese is best in cubes or in thin slices. I like it both ways. You can see the crystals more in the thin slice.

  4. Pingback: One Ingredient, Three Ways: Just Beet It! | The Practical Cook

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