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Cacio de Roma cheese

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I really want to make the classic Roman pasta dish Cacio e Pepe after reading the article on Roman cuisine in the new Saveur, but although I thought I was up on my italian cheeses this is a new one for me.
I'll hit G.I. to see if they have it but anyone know for sure if it's available in Vancouver? Hate to use a sub.

By the way anyone wanting to make the Bucatini All'Amatriciana in the same article need go no farther than Oyama for the perfect Guanciale (cured pork jowl).

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  1. Hi Eatrustic,
    The Pecorino is easy to find but the Cacio de Roma in the article will be hard to find. I don't remember it even being used when I was in Rome. I remember pecorino being the only cheese in my Cacio e Pepe so if you can't find it maybe try making without to see how it turns out?

    15 Replies
    1. re: selena03

      Yes, that's what I thought too. But when I saw a cheese called Cacio de Roma I just had to figure it was the real authentic version. My copy of "Bugialli On Pasta" doesn't include it either (but then he also calls for Parmesan instead of Pecorino!).
      I will give it a try with Pec if I can't find the Cacio.

      1. re: eatrustic

        Can you post back here after you make it? I would like to know how it turns out as I have never made it myself before.

        1. re: selena03

          Ok I will. I checked at Granville Island and no dice.

          1. re: selena03

            I decided to go ahead and make the recipe without the Cacio de Roma for now. I did a lot of internet searching to find the best version and proportions and came across a lot of bastardized recipes using butter and cream and adding other ingredients.
            In the end I used spaghetti and followed the Saveur recipe (just added more Pecorino Romano as that is the only cheese in 95% of the other recipes) and it came out very well.
            Sizzling the fresh cracked pepper in the olive oil, adding the pasta water and the cheese at the right time are the only techniques that need paying attention to. (Once the cheese hits the pasta there should be no more direct heat.) Simple and tasty.
            Adding butter or cream would make it more luxurious if less authentic.

            I'll still keep an eye out for the Cacio de Roma to see what that brings to the party.

            1. re: eatrustic

              Thanks for posting your experience with the recipe....I am going to try it this weekend!

              1. re: eatrustic

                You know...I may have seen it at Urban Fare or Wholefoods.

                1. re: fmed

                  I'll keep an eye out for it there as well as La Grotta.

                2. re: eatrustic

                  Les Amis du Fromage is the place for all cheese. Have you checked there? If not, perhaps make a visit to the wonderful Mount Pleasant Cheese up on Cambie? Peter there does a fantastic job in curating a stellar collection of cheese and might have some info.

                  Doing a bit more digging on both the internet and in my cheese book, it looks like Cacio de Roma is a trademarked cheese. That is, it is a trademark of a specific producer, the Sini family, one of whom is now in the States with his wife marketing the cheese there. Perhaps Saveur either confused that particular cheese for a type of cheese or perhaps there is a bit of marketing going on? I'd stick with a nice DOC Pecorino Romano instead of spending a ton of time looking for a trademarked cheese.

                  -----
                  Mount Pleasant Cheese
                  3432 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z, CA

                  1. re: peter.v

                    Or find a subsitute....On one site, the recipe author states:
                    "...Pecorino Romano cheese, preferrably Cacio de Roma, shredded (if not available substitute with another SOFT sheep's milk cheese or even cow's milk Fontina)"

                    (Les Amis is the temple of cheese for sure.)

                    1. re: fmed

                      Fontina instead of pecorino... hmm. My cheese spidey sense is tingling. Thems some different cheeses, neither soft IIRC.

                      1. re: grayelf

                        It didn't seem right to me as I have always thought Pecorino Romano as a hard cheese...but then I thought I was perhaps over-generalizing (and ignorant of an unfamiliar "soft" variety.)

                        1. re: fmed

                          A bit of digging on this site brings up the name Fulvi Romano which is an excellent Pecorino produced near Rome as opposed to Southern Italy.
                          From the description it has a richer profile and might be the best fit if the Cacio can't be found.
                          I'll just have to see if Fulvi is sold here in Vancouver.

                          I'll try and make it to La Grotta tomorrow. Les Amis, although fabulous in most areas, has admitted to not being quite as deep in Italian cheeses as some of the better Italian stores.

                          1. re: eatrustic

                            Calls to Les Amis, La Grotta, Cioffis and Bosa have turned up nothing in either cheese so I'll file this away for my next trip to Seattle perhaps (or Italy!).

                            In any case the standard Pecorino Romano we find here in Vancouver makes a great Caccio e Pepe.

                            1. re: jchaput

                              La Grotta is an obvious choice for Italian cheeses but it is not necessarily on my rota so I go to the Les Amis on 2nd and they usually have a decent selection.

                    2. re: eatrustic

                      I too cannot find Cacio de Roma for this dish. Would a combination of Grana Padano and Pecorino work?

              2. Hi Eatrustic,

                Out of curiosity, how does your homemade version of Cacio e Pepe compare to the one available at Campagnolo Roma in terms of flavours?

                Wonder if they could help you out with the cheese search?

                1. I'm pretty sure I've seen Cacio at either Bosa's or Cioffi's (maybe both). You could always call ask.