La Tur is a cheese that's all too easy to fall in love with. Dense, soft, sweet, tangy and irresistibly rich, three-milk La Tur is representative of the Piedmont’s Robiola style of cheese. Though rather difficult to define (a large number of Piedmontese cheeses carry the name “Robiola”), these cheeses are generally soft, mold-rinded, gooey cheeses that are eaten young.
It is produced by Caseficio dell'Alta Langa in the Alta Lange region of Italy. The cylinder-shaped cheese is a light straw yellow color with an edible soft and wrinkled rind.
How It's Made
The milks are first combined, then pasteurized gently at the lowest temperature allowed by Italian law. This ensures that the milk is not scorched and that the natural microbes present inside of the cheese will have a chance to enhance the cheese’s flavor.
Next, the curds are ladled into molds, where they drain under their own weight before aging. As opposed to pressing, which uses weight to get rid of whey in the curds, this process allows for a higher-moisture and more fragile cheese to develop.
The Taste of La Tur
Due to the light mold that grows on the rind of the cheese, it ripens from the outside in. In a cheese ten days old, the cheese is creamy inside the rind and fluffy towards the center. As the cheese ages, the outside layer becomes runnier and more pungent while the center becomes creamy.
While many young, soft cheeses are very mild in flavor, La Tur tends to be pretty complex, definitely something cheese connoisseurs appreciate. No one flavor profile dominates.
La Tur has the tangy acidity of fresh goat cheese, with an earthy, milky undertone. It's full-flavored, without crossing over into pungent territory. The soft, moist bloomy rind is completely edible, and a delicious part of the cheese.
You can taste the buttery richness from the cow milk, the tang of the goat milk and the mellow nuttiness of the sheep milk. The three milks complement each other nicely, and this is another reason that La Tur has a relatively complex flavor for a young, soft cheese.
The cheese is shaped like a cupcake wrapped in ruffled paper, making it a lovely centerpiece of any cheese plate. It is also a nice cheese to serve after dinner, in place of dessert.
La Tur pairs well with sparkling wines. It should be served with bread or crackers, as this soft cheese needs something to rest on.
As with most cheese, La Tur is best served at cool room temperature to appreciate the flavor. You can certainly serve it with a nice unoaked red from the Piedmont region of Italy, although the tang of the cheese is nicely set off by sweeter dessert wines as well. Simply spread the cheese on some crusty bread, or if you want to gild the lily, serve with some clover honey, roasted pears or quince jam.
If You Like La Tur, Try These
The producer of La Tur is Caseificio dell’Alta Langha. If you like La Tur, you'll probably also like Robiola Rocchetta, Brunet, and Robiola Bosina, which are also made by the Italian cheesemaker Caseificio dell’Alta Langha.