In many parts of the world, cheese is an integral part of breakfast. Fresh, soft and mild cheeses are drizzled with honey and scooped up with bread. Hard and nutty ones, chunked off, to be nibbled with slices of ham and more bread. In fact, one of my favorite things about traveling abroad is the guilt-free way I enjoy cheese in the morning. Its richness and protein content keeping me fuelled and satisfied for long days of sightseeing or backpacking. In the U.S. though, we seem to only invite cheese to the breakfast table if it is either melted in our rubbery omelets or as low-fat curds, plopped into half a grapefruit when we are feeling badly about our waistlines. Luckily, times are a changing.
I was recently surprised when out for breakfast to see fresh ricotta on the menu. A signature item of Falai Panetteria, I was informed, and not to be missed. What a wonderful way to start the day! Mild, creamy, and wholesome, how had I not thought to enjoy this cheese for breakfast before? Honestly, the ricotta was so fresh and so delicious, they need only to have served it plain and I would have been satisfied. But smothered in poached figs and candied walnuts with just that drizzle of wildflower honey, I was blown away. This was certainly the best breakfast I have had all year.
Don’t forget, you can always pack up, head to Cormayeur or Chamonix, and enjoy some breakfast cheese in one of their many adorable cafes – but for those of us who can’t seem to find the time to get out of Manhattan, a morning in Falai Panetteria will surely take you away.
79 Clinton St
Open 7 days, breakfast 7 am – 5 pm
265 Lafayette St
Open 7 days, breakfast 7am – 12pm