Slow food. This is my motto. This is the food I really want to eat every single day. You are what you eat so always look for the best quality food you can afford.
Back on the Alps during the summer I visited another alpine dairy but this one was very small and run by a family who only spends the summer up on the mountains. They take up the cows up in spring so they can graze on emerald green grass and they bring them back down towards the end of summer.
I love the peace you can find on the mountains. Here we are again in Friuli in North Eastern Italy.
One of my favourite ever types of ricotta is the “ricotta affumicata” or smoked ricotta which is a product that lasts longer than the traditional fresh ricotta.
I was fascinated by this man collecting ricotta from the whey in a cotton bag, it felt like going back in time. He was not sure why on earth I was so keen on photographing him. I said that this is not something you see every day as we are all used to mass produced food that comes in jars.
The process of collecting the ricotta was really slow but artisan food is always slow to produce as it is often entirely made by hand.
And this is the end product: a fresh and creamy ricotta that melts in your mouth.
The malga or Alpine dairy looked really traditional and like the majority of them it was made entirely of local stone.
Outside there is was a stable where the cows are milked twice a day.
Inside there was a room where they smoked the ricotta.
Smoked ricotta is fresh ricotta that has been slowly smoked over metal grates on top of a fireplace.
The texture of this ricotta is soft but firmer than traditional ricotta, it has a distinctive smoky taste and a yellowish colour. It is lovely grated on top of pasta and rice or just eaten on its own with some rustic bread. What’s also good about it is that it can last well in the fridge for a few weeks.
I had homemade gnocchi with fresh butter, sage and smoked ricotta on top. Simply divine!
And a selection of their freshly made cheeses, salami and ham.
What a lovely place I will be back here again next year for sure!