Casatella Trevigiana PDO is a soft cheese obtained from whole cow’s milk originating exclusively from Frisona, Pezzata Rossa, Bruna and Burlina breeds, and their crossbreeds.
The production area of Casatella Trevigiana PDO is within the entire territory of the Province of Treviso, in the Veneto region.
After pasteurisation, the milk is clotted with the addition of liquid or powdered bovine rennet; the whole process lasts for 15 to 40 minutes. This is followed by the first breaking of the curd, a resting stage of 45-55 minutes and a second uniform and complete breaking, which produces grains the size of a hazelnut. The mass is then slowly agitated, before being placed in cylindrical molds. This is followed by a dry salting or brining process, which lasts for 40 to 120 minutes, based on the size of the forms. As it is a fresh cheese, the ripening period lasts only 4-8 days and must take place within molds that are stored in cells at 2-8°C; the rounds are turned at least every two days.
Appearance and Flavour
There are two types of Casatella Trevigiana PDO: the Small Form has a diameter of 5-12 cm, a weight of 0.20-0.70 kg and a height of 4-6 cm; the Large Form has a diameter of 18-22 cm, a weight of 1.8-2.2 kg and a height of 5-8 cm. The cheese is characterised by its soft texture, delicate aroma and sweet taste. It is milk-creamy white and there is either no rind or it is only slightly perceptible.
The origins of Casatella Trevigiana PDO can be traced back to the ancient tradition of domestic dairy production, which was passed orally down the generations. In fact, this soft, uncooked cheese, which ripened quickly and could be eaten immediately, was produced alongside mature cheeses and took the name casata or casatela, a term from the Veneto dialect that is a variation of Casada, a home-made cheese produced by farming families. In the Venetian Republic, the first written mention of Casatella, also known as formajela due to the particular shape obtained with the cylindrical mold used for separating the curds from the liquid cheese residue, dates back to the XVII century. In around 1789, formagiele were included in donations made by the Doge (Duke) to the fruttajuoli – greengrocer guild. These greengrocers gave the new Doge, Ludovico Manin, 480 melons, which he exchanged for other agricultural products, among which there were 24 formagiele.
Casatella Trevigiana PDO can be conserved at a maximum temperature of 4°C and for no more than 10-15 days. It is a versatile cheese that is richly nutritious. It can be used in many recipes, such as snacks with bread sticks or as an ingredient in main courses. It goes particularly well with vegetable side dishes or as the final course of a light lunch. It is often served with grilled Radicchio Rosso di Treviso PGI and a slice of polenta. More modern recipes combine it with fruit mustards or use it as part of more complex dishes, ranging from entrees to desserts. Casatella Trevigiana PDO pairs well with white and sparkling wines like Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco PDO.
Casatella Trevigiana PDO is a prestigious food product with a high concentration of the nutritious qualities and components found in fresh milk: proteins, fats, mineral salts, vitamins. It is also an extremely easy cheese to digest and is particularly suitable for low-calorie diets.