It's easy to go to Italy and completely miss experiencing The Cheese Cart: traveling on a budget often means pizza for dinner; and at a ristorante, after the bread basket, antipasto, primo, secondo and dolce, when the waiter rolls around with the cheese cart it can be hard to answer with more than a groan.
But I recommend putting aside some funds or pacing yourself to partake in this cultural and educational experience.
Even if you've been there done that in another country, such as France (where you'd gotten used to the cheese cart rolling around before dessert), participating in the cheese course is a great way to learn about locally-made cheeses. Ask the waiter to describe every cheese on the cart if you wish (note: some are more enthusiastic about this request than others, but I've done it). Especially for cheese lovers traveling around Italy, use your waiter's expertise and recommendations to compare cheeses made in different parts of the country.
Cheese course etiquette says you then pick a few cheeses – not more than 4 – and the waiter will cut slivers which you then eat with a knife and fork. Write down the ones you like or ask the waiter to repeat the details of the cheeses on your plate. You'll need to know for your next picnic lunch.
See pretty travel photos on Photo Friday at Delicious Baby's Blog.
Photo of Milan cheese cart by Sanjay
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