Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Looking for an exotic twist on classic meat dishes? Taste the influence of an exotic culture in this gallery of five cheeses from Italy, Germany, France, Spain and the UK.
1 / 5 The Prosciutto di Parma. Pat, preserved, baked or prosciutto, this is not your average cheese. In Austria, this combo of ancient, premium ingredients, powdered or cooked, is available at hotels. AFP/Getty Images
1. Prosciutto di Parma
The esteemed, preserved prosciutto connoisseur from the Veneto, Italy. Used at home and on sandwiches, the prosciutto in Prosciutto di Parma is most popular, but more adventurous eaters will find the spicy, chunky Pizza di Parma is delicious too. A fair trade variation — 2.5 kg per box — Parma, the family that produces these famed salads is also a player in the sustainable cheese industry.
The Parma Cheese Museum. Venice, Italy
2. Baecke Gerchen
Baecke gerchen , spelt or otherwise, this thickly puffed German wheat cheese — also called Oberteldorfspaten (Berlin ricotta cheese) is a big seller in Germany. It’s aged for a year and is an international leader in vegan cheese production, grass-fed and free of preservatives.
Parmewald Cheese Company. Munich, Germany
3. Anna Pissarro
Made in France by Serge Valentin, this creamy sheep’s milk cheese is amazing for one reason: It’s super thin and comes in three varieties. The hardest comes with a tinge of fruity basil and violet. The softest in color boasts a festive nutmeg flavor. “The best commercially available Italian-style cheese, and perhaps the best over all in Europe,” say the champions of cheese at the Traube series of cheese-making events in Paris, “Anna Pissarro offers a fresh taste to a variety of international palates.”
4. Natron Nutella Meringue
Made in France by Christophe Hofmann from hazelnuts, almonds and star anise, Natron Nutella Meringue is a vegan version of a favorite. Turban of Paris says in general the vegan versions are healthier because they are unfiltered and less factory-produced, but that doesn’t make the taste any less memorable.