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  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

Oil and cheese tasting

guest lecturer explaining the difference in olive oil and Annalisa translating

Knowing a little bit about cheese but not enough, and discovering that there truly is a thing such as olive oil tasting, I quickly signed up for this event, since I wanted to learn more about both and this seemed like the most accessible and hands on experience. And it definitely was. Planned kindly and perfectly by Annalisa and Anna Rita, the people that have signed up have met in the auditorium of the Palazzo Santacroce, to start off by getting an intro to oil making and tasting by a guest lecturer, making us further understand the differences, varieties and complexities that can go into making oil, while all being probably astonished by the fact that are at least three hundred different types of olive oil made only in Italy, and more than four hundred cheeses (compared to only about a hundred in France). Having had the fun of later properly tasting the olive oil, we quickly moved to my favorite part: the cheese.

guest lecturer presenting to us the Blu Val Comino

Personally I think one was better than the other, but I did take unusual notice as some others did around me, of the Marzolina cheese, which is a small goat cheese that was apparently made to fit the pockets of shepherds that would have the cheese as a snack for lunch. Not being a professional I think it is safer to not write a description here. But that didn’t stop me and Anna Rita from taking so much interest in that particular cheese which is now made by only three producers in Italy, that we will most probably place a large order sooner or later, because it truly was exceptional. Furthermore we have tasted some blue cheese, also my personal favorite but not everyone’s, finally followed by the award winning Pecorino Gran Riserva Stagionato 24 mesi, which was the strongest of them all, thus the reason for tasting it last. It definitely was an educational and tasty evening that was only a preface to the rest of the evening, where many of us attended the concert at the Parco della Musica, a complex designed by Renzo Piano where we had the chance to listen to a few piece from Schumann and Mendelssohn.

students professionally tasting olive oil for their first time


(all photos credit to Ihwa Choi)


by Matej Dlabal

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