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MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Marzotica ricotta
For a calcium hit
Besides being delicious, this cheese is packed with calcium. But it should be eaten in small doses as it has a high calorie and fat content by Luigi Formisano
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Marzotica ricotta. Photo by Dario Ersetti

  Nutrition facts per 100 g:

 

- energy: 428 Kcl

- protein: 19 g

- carbohydrates: 0,10 g

- fats: 32 g

- calcium: 394 mg

 

Marzotica ricotta takes me back to my childhood. My grandfather used to go and see his friends in the country and he would buy two small wicker tubs of sheep’s ricotta. When he came home he used to salt them and put them into wooden containers then place them behind a little balcony that looked out over the gulf of Naples. When I went to visit him he would take me by the hand and we would go out to see whether there was any mould: “Guaglio’ poi vedi che ti mangi…” (Lad, you’ll see how good it is …), he would say. Often in my mind I’ve gone back over the delicate alchemy that enabled the incredible transformation of one product into another with different characteristics: the marzotica ricotta took its shape and flavor, developing its aroma and taste thanks to the warmth of the sun and the smell of the sea. When the process of lightly aging the cheese was finished, grandfather would skillfully grate it over the pasta with fresh tomato sauce and basil or cut it up for Easter Saturday lunch, to eat with fresh fava beans: “Beneditto o’ cumpare pugliese!” (Bless our dear friend from Puglia!), he would say with a smile, thanking his friend from Lecce who had first shown him the procedure.

From the nutrition point of view, remember that as marzotica contains less water than fresh ricotta, it has a higher calorie count (428 calories per 100 g): it’s better to have small servings especially if you are overweight or suffer from dyslipidemia (hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia) or lactose intolerance. Being rich in calcium it is very useful during skeleton growth. This splendid cheese has a fresh lively flavor: in the right amounts, it is an essential component in the creation of one of Salento’s mouthwatering giant mixed salads.

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