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CASEIFICIO TERRE DEL GIAROLO
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15054 Fabbrica Curone (AL)
Piemonte - ITALIA

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Il Formaggio Montébore è

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Credits: Andrea Siciliano

The Montébore cheese

Montébore cheese is a

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Montébore is an ancient cheese, one of the rarest cheeses in the world, whose origins are lost over

the centuries. It takes its name from a small town in our Val Curone located on the watershed between the nearby valleys of the


Grue stream and the Borbera river. A corner of the Tortona area (in the Piedmont area that borders Liguria and Lombardy) still intact and sparsely inhabited.

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Characteristics

Montébore cheese is made by mixing raw milk: 70% cow's milk and the remaining 30% sheep.


The curd, broken with a wooden spoon, is placed in the molds, turned over and salted. Extracted from the mold, three shapes with decreasing diameter are left to mature, one on top of the other, from one week to two months.

 

The rind is initially smooth and moist and then, with aging, becomes drier and ​more wrinkled. The color ranges from white to straw yellow.

 

The paste is smooth or slightly open, white in various shades.

Through their experience and the collaboration of the Moretta Dairy Institute and the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Turin, the dairy technique that has brought this cheese back to its ancient flavor has been reconstructed.
 
Thanks to the initiative of Roberto and Agata (founders of the Vallenostra Agricultural Cooperative), in 1999 the Montebore, presented at the 'Cheese ' show in its total world production of seven wheels, attracted the attention of the specialized press of the five continents.
For centuries produced and exported to Genoa and Lombardy, practically all traces were lost.
 
Then in 1997 with the Dairy Supply Chain Project of the Montana Valli Curone Grue Ossona and Valli Borbera and Valle Spinti, approved by the European Community, an attempt was made to 'recover ' the ancient product. has been literally ” ”, thanks to some elderly ladies of the area of Montébore and Calvadi, the two hamlets of the Municipality of Dernice (AL), where the last depositories of the traditional dairy technique, had kept the “sknowing ” of the ancient cheese making .
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Knowing it è loving it

​The Montébore at the table

The processing

It is made with raw milk: treated exclusively raw (heated to 36 ° C), to which natural rennet is added. The breaking of the curd takes place after an hour of re-learning and produces large lumps. Subsequently, a second break is carried out from which smaller lumps are obtained (the
size of a hazelnut) .

 

The curd is then placed in the molds: left to drain in the “ferslin ”, the typical cylinder-shaped molds, of decreasing diameter. Over the next half hour, the shapes are turned 4 or 5 times. Then, we proceed with manual salting, strictly with sea salt (historically we are in fact on the ” Strada del sale ”) .At this point, all that remains is to let the wheels rest for about 10 hours in a cool and dry place and, finally, , three shapes with decreasing diameter are placed to mature, one on top of the other, from three weeks to four months.

Mont ébore, suitably seasoned , denounces the taste of sheep's milk when tasting, even if the percentage of sheep's milk never exceeds
40%. On the nose, slightly animal and slightly spicy odors are
perceived.In the mouth, at the beginning of the tasting, è tends to be milky and buttery, while in the finale you can hear the chestnut accompanied by herbaceous nuances.

is perfect as an excellence throughout the meal: fresh or seasoned, it enjoys the company of chestnut honey and honeydew, of orange jams, of 'cugn à ', the typical Piedmontese jam based on grape must, to which it gives the pleasure of its fine,  delicate but witty taste. He loves walnuts, figs, sweet and sour cherries, pink grapes, thus discovering nature's all-season vocation.

 

Seasoned, it seasons st■ pasta, gnocchi, rice with a lively harmony of savory, spicy without recklessness, elegant, discreet, fragrant. He is not afraid of risky combinations, sure of his own composure: with spicy caramelized pears of ginger or chilli, he reveals an unusually daring soul; with 'sbrisolona ' salted beans and almonds you discover a tantalizing soul, loves pumpkin flans, to which it gives robust flavor à, of artichokes, courgettes, thistles.

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Montébore history

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An ancient history

Already in the 12th century a rich Tortonese sent fifty pieces to gift to a high prelate to advocate the promotion of his brother priest and to the fifteenth century ’ the only cheese present in the menu of the sumptuous wedding between Isabella of Aragon and Gian Galeazzo Sforza, fine of the Duke of Milan.

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Between La Gioconda and Leonardo

In 1489 in Tortona , today in the province of Alessandria, the wedding banquet was held between Isabella D'Aragona and Gian Galeazzo Sforza, nephew of Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan.

According to the latest studies on the subject, the noble bride was 'La Gioconda ' , it pos ò for the famous painting also called Mona Lisa. The ceremonial of the banquet was Leonardo da Vinci himself, an extraordinary genius of art and science but also an attentive gastronome.

Montébore was the only cheese invited Count Botta di Tortona hosted a banquet in his castle that seemed to surpass all others in splendor and richness, no course was served without the accompaniment of actors, mimes, singers and dancers with inspired allegorical subjects to the mythological-encomiastic theme. ​ '... Arcadian shepherds,

worthy of attention for their rustic speech, offered some cheese from the Tortona Valleys ' (T. Calco, Nuptiae Mediolanesium Docum sive Iannis Galeacij cum Isabella Aragona, Ferdiandi

Neapolitanorum Regis nepote, in Redidua, published in Milan 1644).

 

On February 5, 1489 the cheese from our valleys in the shape of a 'wedding cake ' was present at that noble table in all its goodness, the Mont ébore cheese chosen for the Mona Lisa.

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Who is the Mona Lisa

The novelty of 2009 concerning Leonardo's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, is the publication of a book by art historian Maike Vogt-Luerssen. Over the centuries the woman portrayed has been identified as Mona Lisa del Giocondo, wife of a Florentine merchant, as Lisa Gherardini (Giuliano de 'Medici's lover) and, lately, as Bianca Sforza, natural daughter of Ludovico il Moro.

 

The scholar  Maike Vogt-Luerssen, an authority in art history, after seventeen years of studies has definitely changed direction and has documented that the Mona Lisa would be Isabella of Aragon, Duchess of Milan, daughter of Hippolyta Maria Sforza.

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