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Formaggio d'Alpe Ticinese AOP

Geographical Region

The production and processing area includes the summer pastures listed in the specifications, the municipalities of the canton of Ticino from 1st June to 30th September.

Production

The Ticino Alpine cheese PDO (Formaggio d'alpe ticinese) is manufactured daily in a copper kettle, principally from raw cow's milk. As summer pastures with goats are tradition in Ticino the use was born to mix both milk sorts before the cheese manufacture. According to the specifications, 30% goat's milk may be added. The rich Alpine flora, which feeds the cows and goats, gives the cheese subtle aromas. The freshly pressed loaves are plunged into a salt bath for 24 hours. Until the descent from the Alps all loaves are pre-matured on spruce and larch plank. Minimum maturing time is 45 days.

History

The first written evidence of the fact that the use of the Alps was already firmly anchored in rural society of the Ticino region and therefore Alpine cheese was being produced at that time, dates back to the 12th century. The absolute necessity to use the entire territory forced the inhabitants of the Alpine regions to move all their cattle to higher land for cheese production in the summer. By doing this they gradually settled on different levels of the same Alp. The great distance from populated areas and the necessity to manufacture products which could be preserved for a long time and be easily be transported to the winter settlements. In his description of Italian-speaking part of Switzerland from 1783 to 1987, Schinz mentions the cheese and use of the Alps in districts of the canton of Ticino, where this product was being made.

The Ticino Alpine cheese PDO (Formaggio d'alpe ticinese) is sold in one piece or as a whole loaf.