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Snapshots From Italy: Puglia’s Mouth-Numbing Ricotta Forte

Editor’s Note: Serious Eats correspondent Carey Jones, eating her way around Italy, will be reporting back from Rome, Bologna, Tuscany, and Puglia. Photo from ArthurAvenue.comThe word “ricotta,” in my mind, effectively translates to “mild.” While Italy taught me to appreciate just how silky and subtle a fresh, creamy ricotta could be, I’d still rank it right around cottage cheese in terms of flavor intensity. Until I met Puglia’s ricotta forte, that is—a mouth-numbing cheese of an entirely different color. I first encountered ricotta forte in Rome, curiously enough. (Regions of Italy may cling to their own culinary traditions, but cross-pollination does inevitably occur.) At Osteria Del Rione—one of those bare-bones basement eateries with no menu, no wine list, and more... More

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