Typical Italian cheeses: Branzi from Alta Val Brembana

Typical Italian cheeses: Branzi from Alta Val Brembana

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Origins and production area

The place of origin of this famous cheese is the village of Branzi, in the upper Brembana Valley in the province of Bergamo, once home to a renowned cheese market and an important cattle fair. On September 21, the feast of San Matteo, numerous merchants, mainly from Bergamo and Brescia, went to this location to buy the cheese which inevitably took its name from it.

Branzi cheese from the Upper Brembana Valley

Branzi cheese from the Upper Brembana Valley (photo NonnaGeca)

Characteristics and production phases

It is a cheese similar to Formai del Mut and is obtained from whole milk or, for no more than half, from skimmed milk by surfacing. The finished product has a heel almost 10 cm high and a diameter of 40-45 cm. The weight of the forms is about 15 kg. The rind is thin and yellowish, the texture is slightly peeled.
The milk, generally whole, is coagulated at the temperature of 35-37 ° C by adding liquid calf rennet, so as to obtain the coagulated in about 30-35 minutes. In the artisanal processes, the curd is then broken using the spannarola, the sword and the thorn in succession with the latter tool to obtain cheese-like lumps having dimensions similar to those of a grain of rice. After breaking, the curd is heated to a temperature of 45-46 ° C; during this operation the case mass must be constantly and gently stirred, using the traditional wheel or using electric stirrers. Last the cooking and after a short period of pause during which the coagulum settles on the bottom of the boiler, the curd is extracted with special cloths and then placed in the wooden or systetic resin molds. Then the pressing and salting generally carried out in brine, rarely dry. Maturation takes place in environments characterized by a temperature of around 10 degrees and relative humidity of around 90%.

Gastronomy and recommended wines

The recommended wines for liping are: for the fresh product (Franciacorta Rosso, Botticino) and for the seasoned one (Valcalepio Rosso, Capriano del Colle Rosso).

Video: Tramonto e Alba al Rifugio Benigni - Alpi Orobie, Valle Brembana