Italy has a great variety of cheeses, ranging from fresh, mild creations like mozzarella to hard, aged cheeses with very mature flavors, such as Parmesan.

All types of milk are used, including sheep, goat, and buffalo.

Italian cheeses can be diviided into four categories: hard semi-soft, soft, and fresh.

Many Italian cheeses are eaten at different stages of maturity.

A cheese which has matured for about a year is know as vecchio.

After 18 months, it becomes stravecchio and tends to have a very strong flavor.

Most Italian cheeses can be be eaten on their own and used for cooking.