These forms of provolone cheese have the wrong kind of mold on them. These pictures were taken recently, in an Italian grocery store somewhere in the USA. No self-respecting store in Italy would ever display them like this. I checked with several Italian friends and over a dozen of them agreed, including a shopkeeper who sells fine cheese. The shopkeepers don’t realize this, they think they are fine and won’t remove them. Yet they are also selling them by cutting the moldy portions off about a quarter of an inch down, then repackaging and relabeling them. That is supposedly and probably OK, although the Mayo Clinic, on this page about moldy cheese, suggests cutting 1 inch deep. There is mold on cheese that is an important part of the cheese, for example, the blue parts of gorgonzola, roquefort and similar ones, or the rind of brie, camembert and similar ones. But this black mold is not the kind of mold you want on cheese. Evidently, it was kept in a location that is too humid. The wax covering is also of poor quality. It is intended to provide a seal around the cheese, but it is too soft and falls off. This whole display would be embarassing to the shop if they were able to realize that it is wrong. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)
Posted in Italian, Uncategorized.