I featured the dairy man (“il casaro”), signor Luigino when he did a cheese making demonstration on the square of my local town.
I was lucky enough to see how cheese is made at the “latteria”, the dairy of a small village in Friuli in the North East of Italy.
Cheese is produced daily so it is very fresh when it reaches the shops. This is the type of cheese that has a deep, clean, fresh, milky taste which melts in your mouth. It has nothing added but milk, rennet (required to make cheese) and salt to preserve it (essential for cheese making).
But let’s go ahead.
Fresh milk is put in a copper boiler and it is brought to a temperature of 32 – 34C.
Rennet is added which is a complex of enzymes that comes from the stomach of calves. The consistency of the milk changes and becomes creamier.
In order for the curd to become a paste, which later turns into cheese, you must enable it to drain the water it contains. That’s why it is ruptured, using sharp tools such as the thistle which allows the curd to lose the amount of serum required to produce cheese. Now grains as big as rice are formed.
The dairyman constantly checks the consistency of the mass which is then heated at 44-46 C. After 25-30 minutes the milk will coagulate making it look like a gelatin (this is now the time you collect the whey to make ricotta).
Now.. ready steady..the most exciting bit: the copper is tipped
The casaro uses a cloth.. to collect the mass that has formed
Much easier if this job is carried out by two people!
And here we are, the mass has all been collected in a bundle
Far too heavy to be lifted by hand so a pulley comes in handy
The bundle is placed on a surface
So lovely to touch.. soft and spongy!
Now let’s cut it into big chunks. Watch the skills of this young boy!
The mass goes into the cheese molds
All nicely lined up
Then they are pressed and drained of the liquid to give it its characteristic round shape which reproduces the mark of origin and date of production.
After approximately 24 hours, the cheese is placed in brine (saturated solution of salt and water) for a period of about 48 hours.
After this period, the cheese is given a final dry salting and then placed in warehouses to mature. It should be at least 2 months old. The older the cheese the less water it contains so it becomes increasingly rich and saltier. My favourite is two months old!
Infinite thanks to all the team at :
Latteria di Turrida
CASEIFICIO CARLINI GIOBATTA
Via Montello, 7
33039 Turrida di Sedegliano (UD) -Italy