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Giolito Fiorenzo Formaggi in Bra

Due south of Turin and almost in the famous wine area of Le Langhe is the town of Bra. Bra is famous for several reasons; it was the birthplace of Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, and the organisation’s headquarters are here to this day. It is also famous for Salsiccia di Bra, a spicy veal sausage made to a traditional recipe and using only local ingredients. But Italy Decanted is a site predominantly about wine and one product that is traditionally paired with wine is cheese and the town is also home to “Cheese,” a biennial international festival dedicated to this wonderful product in all its myriad manifestations.

But what to do if you are not fortunate enough to arrive when the festival is in progress? Well, fear not, there is a solution. Giolito Formaggi is one of the great cheese shops in Italy. The business is run by the third generation of the Giolito family, Fiorenzo, who was responsible for opening the shop. But it was his grandmother who started the family association with cheese with a wholesale business at the beginning of the last century, dealing with cheese from the Piedmont area.

Fiorenzo’s father expanded the business and his son now dedicates himself to offering the best of Italian cheese. Fiorenzo and his team offer tastings with a chance to see the small museum of cheese production and also the cool rooms where the cheeses are seasoned. Aged cheese, stagionato in Italian, is a big thing here as the cheese changes over time developing a richer, stronger flavour but also a characteristic crystalline structure that gives a crunch in the mouth that young cheese can never have. It is not just the famous Parmesan that can be aged so visit Fiorenzo and enjoy a world of flavours.

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