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
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy
Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.
The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.
Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.
The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)