Cheese making in Friuli and a farm visit

I came back late last night from my trip to Italy, this morning I was unpacking all the goodies I brought back. I love my split British-Italian life.

When I was younger I had no interest in Italy, all I wanted was to travel the world but now pushing 40 (oh yes… nearly there) the whole life picture seems to change. They say it always happens, whatever seems so vital in your youth it becomes no longer your priority. Other values slowly but surely replace the need of a fast and super busy life. Family becomes more and more important.

All my sisters and my parents live in Italy and I still have one precious grandmother aged 90 whom I long to see whenever I am over there. Time passes by and I don’t want to waste any minute of the time we can spend together.

October is the time of celebrations in my town. There is a big market and plenty of foodie stalls, food is everywhere and with plenty of choice. Some time ago I wrote about the art of making fresh Montasio cheese. This is held during the towns celebrations every year. Luigino the dairy man shows us how cheese is being made. Many people have never seen the process of cheese making nor have they ever been to a latteria (the “dairy”).

This year it was a pleasure to meet Mr Luigino and his daughter again.

making cheese in Friuli

I can never get bored of watching fresh cheese making and especially eating it afterwards!

making cheese in Friuli

The region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in North Eastern Italy offers a rich selection of fresh cheese and salami. The classic cheese is called “Latteria” (which translates to “dairy”). It is a fresh semi-hard cheese, very creamy and delicate. Montasio is also very similar and has now being exported all over the world. Can you find it where you are?

fresh cheese and salami from Italy

Luigino kindly invited me to visit his milking farm.

dogs at the barn

There were cows, ducks, hens, rabbits and a friendly pig which seemed to enjoy being fed chunks of bread! Also calves loved a cuddle too!

animals at the farm

I was shown how cows are milked. The milking machine switches itself off when all the milk has been pumped out and goes straight into a chilled tank ready to be collected by the milk truck. Running a farm is hard work though and you can never take a day off! Cows need milking twice a day and they don’t care whether it is Christmas or Easter! I am not sure I could manage without a holiday every so often!

milking machine

If there is no fresh grass cows are fedย corn silage which is obtained from the shredding of the whole plant of Maize.
The maize isย collected and transported to a silotrench, distributed in horizontal layers, compressed by shovel or tractor and sealed with layers of plastic film. The absence of air allows it to ferment so it can last a long time and is used to feed the cows during the winter months.

silomais - Fermented maize to feed the cows

Silomais: Fermented maize

Animals are also fed hay and a mixture of corn and other cereals which are cultivated at the farm.

corn

I enjoyed the autumnal air at the farm and the visit was really interesting. You never stop learning and every time I realize there is so much more to learn! But that’s life, isn’t? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Truck at the farm

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14 Responses to Cheese making in Friuli and a farm visit

  1. gloria

    What lovely visit!! I love the pics!!
    And of course I love cheese Alida! Omy I would eat cheese always!:)
    xo

  2. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Hi Alida,
    Always love when you create a post away from the kitchen. You have visited such interesting places. That is so fantastic that you go back in forth to Italy. Home and family are so important. God Bless your grandmother at 90. Time does go so fast.

    Love cheese of any kind and this post is wonderful. We buy the cheese in the market and bring it to our table to enjoy, but there really is so much work that goes into making that cheese that we love. Years ago when I lived in upstate NY, I went to visit a cheese making company in a town called Cuba, NY. They had the best cheese curds and I loved them. Saw how they made the cheese in the big tubs. It is really so interesting. I am not sure that I have ever eaten Montasio cheese. I will have to look now, when I shop at the market.

    Thank you for sharing your trip and the photos are terrific, they really add to your story. Have a great day….
    Dottie ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Alida

      Thank you Dottie. Did your dad use to make cheese as well? My mum used to make cheese too when she was young. It was normal in those days. Now we seem to have lost the skills as we find everything ready at the supermarket. I guess, life has become easier now!

  3. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Alida,
    Yes, my dad did make cheese when he owned his Italian Deli. He never made it a home..I remember he used cheese cloth and would let it drain in the sink. He used to make also something called Ricotta Salata, which I remember when I was young did not like it. I do have a few FB friends that do still make the hard cheese. I guess you are right, those skills are gone, and life is easier now, as we just go to the market and there it is on the shelf. I wish my dad would have taught me at least so one of us would have that skill. Your mum must have made a delicious cheese when she was young. Love your post! Thanks again…
    Dottie ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Louise

    How fortunate you are to be able to travel back and forth England and Italy:) It is so true that priorities change through the years but I’m not convinced that ages has everything to do with it.

    Cheese making has always fascinated me. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful pictures with us Alida…Next best thing to being there, lol…

  5. Alida

    Life makes us wiser! I had lots of that cheese and brought lots back home!

  6. la cucina di Molly

    Hai ragione Alida, con gli anni si cambia e la famiglia diventa sempre piรน importante! Grazie per aver condiviso con noi la visita alla fattoria, vedere come producono il formaggio, che bella esperienza! Un caro saluto!

  7. Diana

    Love all the pics…especially the rounds of cheese..I have some similar pics I took at our local IPER mart…yes….the huge, hyper-mart?!!?! I caught a glimpse of all this cheese in stored in their back room and snapped a pic….laughing at how nothing like that would ever be found at a Walmart storage area back in Texas!

    • Alida

      I know you can find these cheese in almost any supermarket too and they all taste so good and so fresh. I could live on cheese alone.

  8. Anita Cronk

    Ciao Alida my family lives near Tarvisio in Friuli . Where is the farm located?

    • Alida

      Hi Anita! Your family lives in the mountains! I love Tarvisio.
      This farm is in the area of Codroipo (half and hour from Udine) x

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