Raising cattle and goats has always been one of the most important resources for Alpine people. Cheese and butter are obtained from the milk and the small quantity of first class protein in a poor diet comes from slaughtering.
Unique cheeses such as Bitto, Casera and Scimudin, gems of flavor much appreciated by gourmets, are made in the Alpine pastures, an ancient world where the animals graze freely on the thousands of Alpine herbs that enrich the milk with flavor and aromas.
Bitto, the most famous of the cheeses from this area, is produced in summer in the alpine pastures found at more than 2,000 meters. The minimum seasoning period is 70 days; but it can reach ten years.
Casera takes its name from a practice carried out from the Middle Ages in which the Valtellina pastoralists and small farmers take their milk to the local caseras (dairies) where it is processed and transformed into delicious cheese. The minimum seasoning period is 70 days.
Scimudin is made in small quantities for family needs and kept in the cellar. Its delicate flavor, fresh and milky is suitable to be eaten by those who want a light and tasty diet.
Bitto and Casera have been recognized with the DOP, a protected product origin denomination.
As well as the three main products in the milk and dairy sector, there are other historic cheeses to be found in the Valtellina, such as Latteria and Ricotta, as well as new specialties created by the dairies to increasingly meet the taste of consumers looking for genuine and typical products, a real expression of the region from which they come.
Consorzio Tutela Valtellina Casera and Bitto
Via Valeriana, 36 – 23100 Sondrio
Tel. + 39 0342 210247 – Fax + 39 0342 218733
Text courtesy of Provincia di Sondrio Ufficio Turismo