Robiola rocchetta is a pasteurized “triple milk” cheese made from goat, cow and sheep milk. Made in the Tuscany region of Italy, robiola rocchetta is part a family of soft cheeses made under the robiola name. The rocchetta version is a soft, white mottled bloomy rind cheese that is very creamy.
The milk used to make robiola rochetta is pasteurized but allowed to "ripen" first, which encourages good bacteria to grow. This bacteria helps gives the cheese flavor. Young cheeses, like the robiola that are made for export, are pasteurized, but if you are traveling to Italy, you should not have any problems finding raw milk robiola.
Robiola is sold in 9-ounce discs. The cheese is probably less than a month old when sold at your local cheese shop. The moist, mottled rind is edible. It might be thin and fairly smooth when the cheese is young, or thicker and droopy on a very ripe piece.
Robiola rocchetta should have a rind that reminds you of a brain coral or just a brain.
The exterior is off-white, and the interior is a bit brighter white with a fresh, cakey texture. Depending on the age and handling of the cheese the bit right beneath the rind can be somewhat runny or it can be dense and creamy. If the cheese is drier that just means that the flavors will be more concentrated and intense and considering how great the flavors are that is just fine. The only thing you want to look out for when selecting this cheese is that the rind is not wet and smooshy. Once these rinds get wet (like from droplets of condensation inside their wrappers touching them), they begin to die, and they let off some unpleasant odors.
It's hard to resist robiola rochetta. Soft and fluffy, rich and creamy, flavorful but not over-the-top. It tastes buttery and tangy, like a cheese version of creme fraiche, and can also be nutty and earthy.The flavor can be mild when the cheese is young and more robust as it ages and becomes denser over a few weeks. The texture can be runny and luscious when at peak ripeness.
Even when served only with slices of baguette, robiola rochetta is a filling and memorable appetizer. A whole disc can even be a light meal for several people when served alongside cured meat and a salad. Lighter reds, like pinot noir and Italian Dolcetto, tend to pair well with robiola rochetta, as do sparkling wines, some chardonnays, and sauvignon blanc.
The Robiola Cheese Family
Robiola is a generic name that refers to a whole family of soft cheeses made in the Piedmont region of Italy. Like robiola rochetta, other types of robiola can be made with cow, goat or sheep's milk (or a combination of all three).
The producer of robiola rochetta is Caseificio dell’Alta Langha. If you like robiola rochetta, you'll probably also like La Tur, Brunet, and Robiola Bosina, which are also made by Caseificio dell’Alta Langha.