Smoked ricotta from the Alps, a real jewel of slow food

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.

Malga Pozof Monte Zoncolan

Cows grazing at Monte Zoncolan in Friuli - 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.

Collecting ricotta in Italy

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.

Collecting ricotta in the mountains

And this is the end product: a fresh and creamy ricotta that melts in your mouth.

Fresh ricotta from the mountains

The malga or Alpine dairy looked really traditional and like the majority of them it was  made entirely of local stone.

Malga Pozof in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Malga Pozof in Friuli

Flowers in the mountains

boots at the malga

Outside there is was a stable where the cows are milked twice a day.

milk containers

Inside there was a room where they smoked the ricotta.

Pots and pan at the malga

pot at the malga

Inside an Italian malga

Smoked ricotta is fresh ricotta that has been slowly smoked over metal grates on top of a fireplace.

smoked ricotta

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.

Smoked ricotta

I had homemade gnocchi with fresh butter, sage and smoked ricotta on top. Simply divine!

gnocchi with smoked ricotta

And a selection of their freshly made cheeses, salami and ham.

ricotta, cheese, salame and ham at the Alpine dairy

What a lovely place I will be back here again next year for sure!

goats at the malga

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8 Responses to Smoked ricotta from the Alps, a real jewel of slow food

  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Such a peaceful and beautiful place! And all those cheese…o man..that’s a heaven, Alida. I wish I could taste some of those smoked ricotta.

  2. Alida

    If you are in Northern Italy it is definitely worth trying it!

  3. elisabetta

    Lovely post again Alida. Thanks.

    • Alida

      Thank you Elisabetta.

  4. Chiara

    ma quanti bei posti ci sono nella nostra regione,le tue foto sono sempre incantevoli Alida ! Che voglia quella ricotta, se passo da quelle parti la prendo di certo !Buon we, un bacione

    • Alida

      Bella e’ la nostra regione! Ci sono sempre bei posti nuovi da scoprire 🙂

  5. All That I'm Eating

    Oh Alida why do you do this to me? I want to eat all the smoked ricotta now! That plate of deliciousness has made me so hungry.

    • Alida

      It is one of my ever favourites Italian foods!

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