A very excellent cheese: Bitto PDO of Valtellina
Bitto borns in Valtellina, from the fresh and shady pastures of the Pre-Alps Orobie. It is likely that the etymology of the name “Bitto”, which comes from “Bitu”, may indicate something “perennial”.
It is produced exclusively during the summer months, when the herds of cows and goats are put to mountain pastures. The milk is worked as soon as is milked directly on alpine pastures and the forms are transported in the cellar located in the middle of pastures, where they remain to age on wooden boards for two or three months, until the shepherds come back to the valley.
Bitto is characterized by cooked paste, made with whole milk from Brown Swiss cows, possibly mixed with a small amount of goat’s milk, up to a maximum of 10%.
The crust is thin and straw-yellow. The compact paste has sparse holes as partridge eye.
The flavor is sweet and buttery and becomes even more good with aging, which in some cases can even reach up to 8-10 years. In fact, the dough becomes even more compact, golden yellow and presents a stronger flavor and aromatic, especially in the forms with high percentages of goat milk.
Aging time: minimum 70 days. Shape: cylindrical smooth, weight range between 8-25 kg approx.
EC classification: DOP – Denominazione Origine Protetta Production area: Sondrio