Semi-hard whole raw cow’s milk cheese, straw yellow colour and thin rind.
Aged on wooden boards, wrapped in hay, wild herbs and flowers from the mountain pastures of the mountain pastures from 2 to 3 months.
The practice of wrapping the cheese in mountain herbs is still widely used in regions such as Piedmont and Trentino South Tyrol as well.
The ancient origins of this particular cheese date back to the time when the farmers of the Alpine valleys needed to preserve the production in excess of requirements for long periods by storing the hay-covered cheese in cool and humid places: caves and cellars used as natural refrigerators and allowed the preservation of the product.
Contrary to what is believed, the hay was not intended to flavour the cheese, but to preserve it from insect attack. Matured in these particular environmental conditions, the cheese had a rustic appearance, an intense taste and an unmistakable aroma with aftertaste and hints of dried grass and flowers, aged in mountain hay.
In the kitchen is used the medium aged cheese, and it is perfect both eaten raw, to be tasted also with polenta, perhaps accompanied by a full-bodied red wine, or melted in the preparation of risottos or fondues.
In Piedmont this cheese in called Seiras del Fèn, produced with cows’ milk whey (90-100%) and ewes’ or goats’ milk whey (0-10%). The mix obtained is heated and then added to milk or cream.
The taste is mainly sweet and fine but savoury, savoury in aged products.
In Trentino South Tyrol this cheese is called Fienoso, a soft cheese made of cow’s milk that makes you dream of high mountain summer pastures.
Throughout the Italian Alps, there are numerous cheeses made with hay or mountain herbs, all to be discovered and tasted.