Purple Pig in Chicago (500 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL) is one of our favorite places to get cheese or charcuterie, that is, if you are able to get a table at this tiny no-reservations spot (don’t count on it). Purple Pig has an extensive selection of well-curated cheeses from all over the world. Some on the list we had previously tried (Fontina, Lincoln Log and Robiola), while others were new to us (Quadrello, Iborez, St. Agur). You can make your own cheese plate for $7 per cheese, 3 for $19, or 5 for $32. One now-favorites we first encountered on the Purple Pig cheese list was Blu di Bufala. The name will likely give you a clue to its contents: a blue cheese made with buffalo milk.
Now we are practically obsessed with Mozzarella di Bufala, so we figured we would love this variety, and we were right. There was a strong blue flavor, but the cheese itself was extremely creamy – almost buttery – and it wasn’t overpowering at all. Blu di Bufala hails from Bergamo, Lombardy in northern Italy, and is made by Caseificio Quattro Portoni. This cheese was first made by the Gritti brothers who run Caseificio Quattro Portoni, in 2005, and it has already taken second place in the World Cheese Awards (yes, this is a real thing). Today the brothers manage a herd of 1,000 Water Buffalo to make the cheese. You can buy Blu di Bufala in cheese stores throughout the US, and online. If you can get your hands on some, Blu di Bufala is great for snacking, and for the ambitious, DiBruno Bros. has a creative recipe for a dessert grilled cheese with Blu di Bufala on chocolate cherry bread.