Quattro Portoni is a cheese producer named for the 13th century gates that surround the city of Cologno al Serio in Lombardy, Italy.

One would assume the name indicates a fierce dedication to old ways. This assumption would be correct in terms of their dedication to true farmstead cheese making where everything from growing of feed to milking of animals and of course cheese making is all done on the same farm.

However, in 2005 brothers Alfio and Bruno Gritti took over the farm from their father who was making cows milk cheeses. Immediately the Gritti boys started the transition to all water buffalo. They also began to include spent barley from a beer brewery down the road in the feed and started making much more challenging cheeses.

Mornighello di Bufala is just such a cheese. Immediately after the curds are hooped (cheese-speak for formed in molds) the little one-pound wheels spend an entire evening in a hot part of the cheese plant. This makes the texture slightly chalky but also produces loads of lactic acid and therefore a very persistent buttery aroma. The rind is mild and delicious.

Serve Quattro Portoni before or after a meal with anything from Piemontese Arneis to Valpolicella of the Veneto. This cheese loves pretty much any wine. In fact, it would be pretty difficult to find a wine that would not go well with this. It is also pretty hard to find a cheese maker with such a holistic approach. The Gritti brother's dedication to sustainability deserves support and the quality they turn out makes it a no brainer. Buy the whole 1/lb wheel. It last well in the fridge and does not easily take on off flavors. It is also easy to eat a lot in one sitting so what are you waiting for?

Find Quattro Portoni at Caputo's.