Nostrano Valtrompia PDO is an extra-hard medium fat cheese, ripened for at least 12 months and produced with raw cow’s milk from the production area. The milk must be a least 90% from cows belonging to the Bruna cow breed, grazed in fresh meadows in the summer and hay for the rest of the year.
The production area of Nostrano Valtrompia PDO is within numerous municipalities in the Province of Brescia, in the Lombardy region.
The milk comes from a maximum of four consecutive milkings and is semi-skimmed. The milk from the various milkings is left in basins (traditional round, in wood or iron, or rectangle with the milk draining from the bottom, in steel) to filter, after which the cream is separated with a spannarola, a kind of metal plate. The milk is then transferred to the copper boiler used for curdling, where calf rennet is added. The curd is broken until the grains are the size of rice grains, after which it is mixed with a rotella, a traditional wooden utensil. Saffron is added before cooking, at a temperature of between 47 and 52°C, in order to give the cheese its typical colour. The cooked curd is extracted and transferred into molds that imprint the identity mark on the edge of the cheese. The forms are then salted and left to ripen for a minimum of 12 months, during which time they are constantly turned. During the ripening period, the rind is filed and basted with linseed oil, which prevents premature loss of moisture.
Appearance and Flavour
Nostrano Valtrompia PDO has a cylindrical shape with almost straight edges. The rind is hard and varies from yellow-brown to brown-red in colour. The cheese is straw yellow, tending towards yellow-green, and is hard, not particularly grainy and may have evenly distributed eyes. The flavour is full and intense, without any sour hints and with the pungent notes of aging.
Nostrano Valtrompia PDO is a product with an ancient history, as demonstrated by sources and documents that can be traced back as far as the 1500s, which describe in detail rearing methods and cheese-making traditions. These practices were often carried out by the same figure, that of the breeder/cheesemaker, and constituted an art that was passed down from father to son. Evidence of the importance of cheese-making in the Valley of Trompia can be found in a document from 1490, in which the analyst Pietro Voltolino writes about the existence of regulations forbidding the foresters in the Municipality of Bovegno to use the pastures. Nostrano Valtrompia PDO therefore boasts originality and typicality that are strongly rooted in the cultural and productive fabric of the terroir of origin.
Nostrano Valtrompia PDO should be kept in a cool dry place, away from direct light or heat sources. It is excellent as a grating cheese but also as a table cheese, served with fruit and vegetable preserves or honey, in particular apple or lime varieties, which help bring out the flavour of the cheese.
The product is marketed as Nostrano Valtrompia PDO. It is sold year-round in whole forms or pieces and in the latter case it can be vacuum-packed or packed in modified atmosphere packaging.
The organoleptic qualities of Nostrano Valtrompia PDO can be traced back to the specific characteristics of the productive process, such as the addition of saffron, which gives the cheese its distinctive aromatic notes, or the constant oil basting during the ripening period, which gives the cheese its distinctive compact and elastic texture.