What is Crescenza Cheese?

View of a mixed selection of cheeses - Swiss, gouda, Queso blanco, Bel Paese, and Crescenza, and mozzarella - arranged on a wooden cutting board with French bread and an onion, 2004.
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This soft, oozing cheese is not always easy to find in cheese shops. It's officially called Stracchino di Crescenza, but often just Crescenza for short.

Crescenza is a soft Italian cow's milk cheese with a very thin, soft natural rind (encouraged by a short bath in brine). Crescenza has a tart, fruity, fresh flavor.

  • Who Makes Crescenza?

    Stracchino di Crescenza (strah-KEE-noh dee kreh-SHEN-zha) was first made in the Italian region of Lombardy, specifically in the Po Valley. "Stracca" means tired, a reference to the tired cows herded up and down the Alps who were milked to make Stracchino di Crescenza. It was thought that tired, well-exercised cows gave extra rich milk with a high butterfat content perfect for making Crescenza.

    The cheese was traditionally made with raw milk but most versions now (especially in the US) are made with pasteurized milk.

    Today, in addition to Italian producers, there are a handful of cheesemakers in the United states who make Crescenza. Among them are Bellwether Farms, BelGioioso and Mozzarella Company .

    Crescenza can also be made at home: Crescenza recipe from Cultures for Health