Piemonte, The Tradition of Cheese


Often almost unknown or at least underestimated by tourists, who prefer the charm of the most famous cities of the Belpaese or the most beautiful Mediterranean beaches, Piedmont is instead one of the richest Italian region on the anthropological, naturalistic and of course, culinary level. Its name (Piè Monte, “at the foot of the mountain”) reminds us of the diverse conformation of the territory, which includes Alpine peaks that leave space to lush hills up to go down to the plain where lies the charming city of Turin, with its breathtaking sunsets.

For centuries, this natural wealth has created a culinary heritage among the richest of Italy, ranging from wine (piedmontese wine are some of the best ever) until cheeses, especially seasoned one. They occupy a very special place in the regional gastronomic scene, in fact the region has hundred different types of dairy products which, over time, have become very popular in the world and many of them have acquired the DOP and DOC designation. Piedmonte has very ancient origins, considered that the processing of milk for the production of cheese date back to 5000 BC; it was already established in Roman times, because we know that Hannibal, descending from the Alps to conquer Rome, stopped to Susa to refresh his weary army with the Toma, a cheese made from pasteurised cow’s milk.

The Romans introduced new dairy techniques in the territories subject to them in Northern Italy, then refined and developed in the Middle Ages by the population itself, creating specialties that still resist the passage of the centuries, such as Stracchino, Gorgonzola, Parmesan and Toma. In the Renaissance, thanks to the gradual expansion of the trade, these excellent products acquired great value, so much to be introduced on the tables of the aristocracy. They were so much appreciated that in the fourteenth century a doctor of Turin, Pantaleone da Confidenza, wrote a treatise focused exclusively on milk and his derivatives, enhancing their quality and nutritional properties. Even now most of the dairy products of the region are still considered the most prestigious of Italy. Piedmonte is a region with many natural resources, an Italian wealth precious like the legendary cheeses it produce.

A flakey or diced, seasoned or mild, a delicacy that satisfies every palate. The IT5 of the week has the unmistakable scent of the Belpaese. Come and find out more. 
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