Bra is amazing – there was only local food available in the town. We arrived late at night and very hungry. There was just one place open: a bar/cafe. We asked for pasta in dreadful Italian and that is what we got – a plate of pasta! “Disaster” we thought, but then we started to eat it and it was just wonderful. Nothing like we have here. There was no need for any sauce as the pasta itself was just divine.
When we went to the Cheese Festival we were blown away by the size of it. There were lots and lots of small producers from everywhere including France, Britain, Switzerland, USA and Germany. Most of these were small artisanal producers. They really value their artisan producers over there. There was cheese everywhere – huge blocks of Parmigiano Reggiano that were carved into irregular chunks and taken by every Italian person in sight. I also fell in love with Gorgonzola, both dolce and piccante. We did one of the classes which was pairing Comte cheese with unusual flavours – lavender, vanilla, honey and so on… very interesting.
After the festival we travelled north, visiting cheese makers where we could. People were very friendly, but communication was tricky as we do not speak Italian, just a little French. However, we were given a cheese called Toma for breakfast and rather liked it. Consequently, when we returned home we decided to copy it as it is quite different to any cheeses currently made in Australia. Tarrili, our version, has a few loyal followers here now.