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Ciro’s stracchino cheese crostini

, Ciro's crostini with his homemade stracchino cheeseWhat makes a delicious crostini?  Two words; fresh ingredients.  And when my farmers’ market has an Italian vendor selling his own cheese, I am ONE happy camper!  Ciro Comencini moved to Nova Scotia with his wife, Alessia and their six children (soon to be seven!) in 2013.  His dairy experience started with his family’s farm, just outside Verona, when he was 6.  When Ciro and his family moved to Nova Scotia, they wanted a farming life. Everyone in the family lends a helping hand. 

Their cheese can be found in local restaurants such as Field Guide, EDNA, The Canteen and Chives as well as with Local Source (food market shop).   Even though their company name is Roma Cheese, you’ll find restaurants naming some of the ingredients in their dishes as Ciro’s cheese.  Ciro is, like most Italians, passionate about the food he makes.  When you stop by their stall in the Alderney Market or Halifax Seaport market and Ciro is there, ask him a question about his products; he’ll happily fill you in on his cheese-making adventures with a beaming smile and abundant hand gesturing.  Mr S and I have eaten our way through an assortment of their cheeses namely: asiago, taleggio, fresh mozzarella, burrata, scamorza, and ricotta.  All so very good!

Ciro Comemcini at the Alderney Farmer’s market in Dartmouth, NS

When Ciro introduced his stracchino (strah-kee-noh) cheese, I asked how he likes to serve it.  His eyes lit up and with hand gestures tells me – slathered on fresh bread that has been toasted, topped with chopped up cooked pancetta and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.  Just the description alone made my mouth water!  Stracchino cheese is a very spreadable soft cheese.  Below is my take of what he described.

fresh bread
pancetta or bacon chopped and pan-fried
stracchino cheese
fresh arugula leaves
extra-virgin olive oil
white balsamic vinegar
Italian parsley, chopped (optional)

Ciro engaging with his customers.

To assemble, spread stracchino on warm bread slice followed with two arugula leaves, pancetta or bacon, a splash of white balsamic vinegar and drizzled extra-virgin olive oil.  Scatter chopped parsley and serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Stracchino can be used on polenta, tossed with pasta, as a dip with EVOO and fresh herbs or on a pizza.  Enjoy!

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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