STRACCHINO (CRESCENZA) CHEESE, LOMBARDY
Stracchino also known as crescenza is a type of Italian cow’s-milk cheese, typical of Lombardy, Piedmont, and Veneto. It is eaten very young, has no rind and a very soft, creamy texture and normally a mild and delicate flavour. It is normally square in form. The name of the cheese derives from the Lombard word "stracch", meaning "tired". It is said that the milk from tired cows coming down in the autumn from the alpine pastures, is richer in fats and more acidic. These qualities were discovered, according to legend, in the milk of cows who were moved seasonally, up and down the Alps to different pastures. The milk of such cows gives the cheese its characteristic flavours. Stracchino is usually eaten on its own, but in Recco on the Ligurian riviera east of Genoa it is used as the filling for focaccia col formaggio, and in Romagna (portion of the Emilia Romagna region) and elsewhere (north portion of Marche region, Umbria and east portion of Tuscany) in piadina.