Lucky 13th Savory Bite: Sapori d'Italia Goat Cheese

 Giovanni Capezzuto, cheesemaker extraordinaire

Giovanni Capezzuto, cheesemaker extraordinaire

 Sapori d'Italia aged goat cheese

Sapori d'Italia aged goat cheese

Languages other than English, along with international accents, abound among shoppers and some producers at the Lexington Farmers Market. We communicate well, because we all speak Food.

For example, Sapori d'Italia's Master Cheesemaker, Giovanni Capezzuto, from Napoli, Italy, makes himself very clear as he works with Kentucky goat's milk. (And perhaps "sapori" and "savory" are linguistic cousins?) Capezzuto introduced the finest quality aged artisanal Italian-style goat cheese to Kentucky. How did we ever do without this splendid, beautiful, intense array of cheeses?

When I commented recently that more types of cheese are available for sampling than when Sapori d'Italia first came to the Market, Capezzuto told me that he actually has less cheese available than he intended, because the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia ordered a large number of aged 30-inch wheels of his cheese. I asked how they found him, and he says he has no idea. He pointed out that he cannot speed up the development of replacement cheeses, either, given his commitment to taking no production shortcuts. Last year, in a short conversation with Capezzuto, he told me he knows his cheese is expensive but explained that producing it correctly requires him to tend to each cheese by hand every day to perfect the rinds and keep the curing on track.

Even with the Masters depletion, Capezzuto offers seven or eight types of cheese at the weekend Lexington Farmers Markets. I bought a small amount of recently made soft, fresh cheese, and, for a beautiful contrast, a wedge of two-year old Caciotta Alpina.

Giovanni Capezzuto has already captured my personal enthusiasm for aged goat cheese, adding to my ongoing sense of good fortune at living in this wonderful place. I look forward to Sapori d'Italia's future additions to the unfolding, diverse world of excellent Kentucky food.

The Sapori website makes intriguing promises, and I hope to be tasting and telling about it as these promises come true:

We are the largest Artisan Goat Cheese producers in the state.  We have been dedicated to the development, and sustainability of new Goat Dairies in Kentucky.  All of our cheeses are made with the finest milk produced solely by Kentucky dairy farmers.   We believe in making Real Artisan Cheese, which has not become another victim of commercialized shortcuts. Our Master Cheesemaker, Giovanni Capezzuto (Napoli, Italy), is very passionate about making 'Old World' styles.  Despite his ability to make cheeses commonly found in the United States today, he is committed to introducing new flavors based on styles found in small regional villages around Italy, as well as historical styles lost over time.  He is also dedicated to developing original flavors that have a firm footprint in Kentucky, and American Culture.

This is Savory Kentucky Bite number 13 of 116 Savory Bites created in honor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.