We have found an excellent new cheese to add to our favorites list; Robusto. It was a chance encounter which is the way we find most new cheeses to try. It was a simple stroll through Whole Foods when I ran into a display with large wheels of this cheese. Normally I would have strolled by, but it was lunch time and there was a sample tempting me to try it. I grabbed a sample and WOW this was great. A nutty flavor with Parmesan flair and a bit of cheddar but soft. It got my attention and a slab was in the basket.
At home we found this to be great cubed or sliced for the cheese platter and a great compliment to a medium bodied glass of red wine. I see promise for it in a future mix of cheeses for a fondue. I was also surprised to find out that this is a Dutch cheese.
Next time you are hovering around the cheese counter ask if they have it. You will not regret it. If you figure out where the bit of crunch comes from send me a note. It adds a bit of flair to the cheese.
posted by caroline on May 11, 2010
the crunch comes from naturally occurring salt crystals.
posted by admin on May 11, 2010
Thanks for clarifying that mystery. This must be a salt water washed rind cheese then.
posted by Cheese Meister on January 6, 2011
The crunches in cheese are actually amino acids that are
naturally occurring in the milk. The cheese isn’t porous enough to
soak up that much of anything they might rinse them with.
posted by Grub Scout on January 11, 2011
Read this – http://bitenyc.blogspot.com/2008/04/why-is-my-cheese-crunchy.html
It’s not salt
posted by admin on January 23, 2011
Thank you for sharing this information. This make a lot of sense and I might just have to get out my organic chemistry textbook and delve further into this.
posted by lotmoreflowers on April 2, 2011
I tired it at Whole Foods store and i loved it! another cheese to try is: Beer Cheese! Awesome and very creamy! Melts in your moutha and it is heavenly!
Robusto brings you down to earth and makes your life on earth fun and enoyable! Relish this cheese!
posted by Terri on August 29, 2011
Partner it with fig spread—OMG. So good.
posted by jane on October 14, 2011
We love Robusto, but live in rural Iowa and can’t find it anywhere here. Am trying to find a way to buy it online, but no luck yet. Any ideas of online sources?
posted by Julie on May 27, 2012
I just found this cheese today at Whole Foods, in the same manner as you did. Wow, what a great cheese. I love it with a full bodied chardonnay. My new fav.
posted by Jennifer on June 21, 2012
Me too! Whole Foods last night, Robusto cheese today at lunch. Thanks for the link for the explanation for the crunchy bits… finally solved a nagging question I’ve had!
posted by Mary on June 25, 2012
I also first discovered this cheese at a Whole Foods store in D. C. but have not been able to find it anywhere locally. Where else can it be purchased?
posted by Kristen on February 5, 2013
This is one of my favorite cheeses! I love your blog and i happen to work at whole foods in the cheese department. The first time i tried it i was wondering what the crunch was and I found out it is salt granules! Knowing that makes me love robusto even more especially if you love salty cheeses. This is one of our most popular cheeses we sell at Whole Foods everybody loves it! If you want to experiment with robusto, dab some honey on a piece and you will go crazy for it because you get that sweet and salty taste and if your not a fan of honey you have to try our sour cherry spread with cheese-its out of this world!
posted by Ch. Eese on October 22, 2014
the crunchy bits are natural crystals, the sign of quality cheese.
posted by Marie on November 20, 2014
That bit of crunch is an amino acid salt crystal that develops during the aging process. You should also a Whole Foods exclusive. Robusto is a 9to 12 month old gouda. I cut 3 wheels a week. I’m a whole foods cheese monger.
posted by Shelby on January 29, 2015
Same exact experience. I usually don’t get the cheese but I had the sample and had to purchase it . I am eating right now with some pineapple and crackers. Thanks for sharing
posted by Dana McCollester on April 25, 2016
In holland I had a Gouda …it had small bits of salt…with the robusto I can’t figure if it’s salt or not! Whatever it’s WONDERFUL!
Whole Foods just opened here in Destin Fl…can’t wait to get back again!
posted by Ginny on May 13, 2016
Having this cheese in a Chicago restaurant right now where they press it in a waffle iron.crunchy in the outside and melty on the inside. Delicious!
posted by Samara Vicente on May 28, 2016
The “crunch” is called crystals
Cheese crystals can consist of different substances. Most commonly found are calcium lactate crystals, especially on younger cheese, on the surface, and on cheddar. Depending on the cheese and its age, these crystals can consist of either or both enantiomers. For grana padano, grainy amino acid crystals inside the cheese consisting mainly of tyrosine and of leucine and isoleucine have been reported. In general, any substance that has a low solubility in water and a tendency to crystallize could form crystals as the cheese dries out during aging.
posted by Samara Vicente on May 28, 2016
honey is also a great partner for this cheese!
posted by Melanie Hughes on November 11, 2016
This cheese is awesome ,robusto. I went to several Publix grocery stores, and no luck
posted by admin on November 24, 2016
From our own experience it is only found at Whole Foods
posted by Wanda on February 22, 2017
My favorite…..I picked it up from the bucket of small bites of random cheese…..
posted by Mark Nichols on August 9, 2018
Just got kaasaggio robusto 10 months from while foods as I see many others have. Primadonna is one on my favorite cheeses. This might too it. Ate it sliced on top of pumpkin seeded bread from Le Bus in Philly topped with halved dates. It was revelatory. I believe I made an audible sound of delight with the first bite. And it’s inexpensive!!!!
posted by Claire Winograd on March 14, 2019
I picked up Robusto at my local Ralphs in Orange County CA (city of Aliso Viejo). It’s more of a general grocery instead of a Whole Foods “upscale market”, but they have an amazing cheese counter with a huge selection of specialty cheeses.
posted by Melissa on May 5, 2019
It’s also available at Kroger!
posted by Rangersport on May 15, 2019
Taking cues from above, I brought it to room temp and tried it with apricot jam, fig jam, honey, dates, and a dark malty ale, in this case Skill Splitter (8.5 ABV) from the Orkney Islands. All very complementary. I liked it best with apricot and fig and least with the dates, which overwhelmed it.