Cheese of the Week: Brigante


When Alex, the cheesemeister at my local Whole Foods recommends a cheese, I tend to listen, and this week he told me about a sheep cheese called Brigante, from Sardinia. Then he cut a slice for me to taste.

I found it an extremely pleasing cheese, very mild and so creamy as to be almost buttery in texture. Subsequent tastes confirmed that Brigante tasted a lot like a cow cheese, with the sheep taste coming on late, almost as an afterthought. As such, the subtle sheep flavor lends a pleasant tang to the buttery goodness. I tasted hints of something caramel-y and toasty, along with the buttery, milky taste, but those were very subtle. This is a mild cheese — It’s clean, supple, sweet, easy to like and, oh, easy to just go back for one more slice.

I haven’t even mentioned another of its great gifts. This Italian sheep cheese is a bargain, especially given its taste and pedigree. It’s from the huge Pinna dairy, in Thiesi, in the northern part of Italy’s Sardinia island. It is a Pecorino cheese, though it doesn’t have any of the Pecorino’s hard, crunchy texture or sharp taste. Brigante is a young cheese, matured only a few weeks, and it has a papery coating instead of a rind. The cheese’s attractive pale yellow color compliments its smooth texture and taste. You could easily offer it on a cheese board at a gathering, or have it on a picnic, with grapes and a light, fruity wine.

If Brigante were a dinner guest, it would be the one rounding out the party, not calling a lot of attention to itself, but being a good listener and guest — blending in, universally liked, the one everyone talks about the next day and invites back: What a nice cheese!

Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman

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8 responses to “Cheese of the Week: Brigante

  1. Oh, how I long to be the Brigante-Boy at your next fete!

  2. Sounds like a date!

  3. Ooooh, I LOVE the idea of a cheese as a dinner guest! Brilliant! Maybe I should throw a party and invite a massive cheese plate for guests!

  4. Thanks, Shelly! I want to come to that party.

  5. What a great article and project! Thank you for that. I’ll have to try cheesemaking (kosher cheese, at that). Now I’ll know where to get supplies. Good Shavouot to you.

  6. silvana giannone

    do you know where i can buy brigante chees in Montreal?

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