Pears Go With Cheese (Don't Tell the Farmers)

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Faith Willinger


Al contadino no far sapere quant'è buono il cacio con le pere.

It's a famous Italian saying. Don't tell the farmer how good pears are with cheese ... implying that he'll never part with them again or he'll charge more. Pears and cheese is a classic combo, and in Tuscany the cheese of choice is Pecorino, sheep's milk cheese. My favorite producer of raw milk Tuscan Pecorino is Guido Pinzani, who transforms sheep's milk at his high-tech plant between San Gimignano and San Miniato. Traditionalists simply put pears and a hunk of Pecorino on the table for a do-it-yourself course. I like to quarter, core, and slice (on a mandolin) pears onto a plate, toss with a little lemon juice so they don't darken, then, using a potato peeler, slice curls of Pecorino onto the pears and dress with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and minced parsley or parsley stems. If you can't find terrific Pecorino, substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Faith Willinger is a chef, author, and born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and has spent over 30 years searching for the best food from the Alps to Sicily. More

Faith Heller Willinger is a born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and was seduced by Italian regional cooking. Faith has spent more than 30 years searching for the best food and wine, as well as the world beyond the table from the Alps to Sicily. She has no regrets about mileage or calories. Faith was awarded the prestigious San Pellegrino award for outstanding work as an ambassador of Italian cooking. She lives full-time in Florence with her Tuscan husband, Massimo. Her son Max lives in Milan. She's the author of the bestselling (9th printing) guidebook Eating in Italy, the cookbook Red, White & Greens, and the narrative recipe book Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. Faith teaches in her kitchen in Florence on Wednesdays, supplied with freshly picked produce from her favorite farmers. Check out her web site at www.faithwillinger.com.

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