Monte Veronese PDO is a semi-cooked cheese produced with whole cow’s milk for the Latte Intero typology (Whole Milk) and semi skimmed cow’s milk for the d’Allevo typology. The milk is obtained from the Frisona, Bruna and Pezzata Rossa breeds.
The production area of Monte Veronese PDO is within the territory of northern municipal areas in the Province of Verona, in the Veneto region.
The Monte Veronese PDO Latte Intero is obtained by curdling the milk with calf rennet for 15-20 minutes, breaking the curd until the grains are the size of a grain of rice. After heating for about 10 minutes at 43-45°C, the curd is placed in a boiler for about 25-30 minutes. After purging the whey for 24 hours, the product is either dry salted or salted in brine. The ripening period must last at least 25 days and is generally completed within 40 days. For the D’Allevo cheese, the semi skimmed milk is curdled with calf rennet for 25-30 minutes, and after breaking the curd it is reheated to a temperature of 46-48°C for about 15 minutes. The curd is left to steam for a further 25-30 minutes. After dry salting or brining and the purging of the whey, the cheese forms are left to ripen for three months to two years.
Appearance and Flavour
Monte Veronese PDO Latte Intero has a straw-coloured rind that is thin and elastic; the cheese is white or slightly straw-coloured and has a pleasant and delicate flavour, with small, evenly distributed eyes. Monte Veronese PDO d’Allevo has a thin rind with a straw yellow colour that varies in intensity; the cheese of the more mature cheese is white to straw yellow in colour, with dispersed eyes; it has a savoury flavour, characteristic of mature cheeses, and tends to become slightly piquant if ripened longer.
The origins of Monte Veronese PDO date back to the XIII century, when a group of German settlers, the Cimbri, from the high plains of Asiago took up residence in the Veronese mountain territory, which had previously been almost uninhabited. Since then, these mountains have become home to a flourishing dairy business, which over the centuries was under the meticulous control of whoever held the economic and political power.
Monte Veronese PDO should be kept in the least cold compartment of the fridge. It should be wrapped in its original packaging or aluminium foil and closed in a plastic or glass food container. It is ideal for pairing with other cheeses and goes well with fruit such as pear and walnut; it is also widely used as an ingredient in first courses and main dishes. The Whole Milk cheese is perfect for enriching savoury flans and polenta, while the more mature Monte Veronese PDO d’Allevo has a stronger flavour and is therefore best at the end of a meal; it is also ideal for grating. It should be served with a slightly fruity red wine.
The product is marketed as Monte Veronese PDO Latte Intero, ripened for 25-45 days (light green label); Monte Veronese PDO d’Allevo, ripened for at least three months (light blue label). It is sold year-round, whole, in large pieces, or in pre-packed slices.
The majority of dairies producing Monte Veronese PDO avoid pasteurising the milk, with the aim of maintaining the unique organoleptic qualities given by the pasture grazing of the cows and the micro-organisms present in the environment.