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4 things you want to know about Montasio cheese.

Montasio Pdo is a cooked curd, semi-hard mature cheese, with regular small eyes overall, this is well known, and nonetheless, some peculiarities of this Italian food excellence remain mostly untold.

First, the Montasio cheese is named after the plateau of the same name located in the Friulian Mountains. Therefore, it is widely believed that the production area includes the Friuli Venezia Giulia region only. On the contrary, it stretches to the provinces of Treviso and Belluno and, in part, in those of Venice and Padua.

Moreover, it is often thought that all the products deriving from milk contain lactose, but this is inaccurate. In fact, in the production of some aged cheese, batteria are added to milk, which eliminate lactose and transform it into lactic acid. This happens even for cheese aged for at least two months. This is naturally lactose-free; therefore, it suits to those who are intolerant to this milk sugar. In detail, laboratory tests show that Montasio contains values of lactose lower to 0.01 g for 100 g of cheese: more than 10 time less of the limit values set out by national and European legislation.

Few knows that Montasio cheese, like milk and yogurt, contains tryptophan, an amino acid precursor of serotonin. This neurotransmitter, together with melatonin carries out a relaxing action contributing to regulate the natural sleep pattern. Even calcium contained in Montasio helps to sooth the nervous system and reduce stress.

Finally yet importantly, it is important to dispel the myth that cheese makes people fat. As a matter of fact, according to a study of the University College of Dublin, based on a sample of 1500 people aged between 18 and 90 years, consumers of cheese and dairy products have a lower body max index and cholesterol levels with respect to those who don’t assume cheese or prefer low-fat dairy products. For the peace of mind of Montasio lovers: following proper eating habits as for caloric intake as indicated in the nutrition facts table you can find at this link: http://www.montasio.com/nutrition education/.

5 unique places to eat Montasio cheese: the ranking.

Precious moments stolen from the everyday routine to have a break and relax mind and soul enjoying a small piece of Montasio Pdo. An excellence of Italy worth tasting in a unique scenery. Here follows the ranking of the weirdest “Montasio Moments”, to try at least once in life.

 

  • In a tree house. In the pristine woods around Ugovizza, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, appears a small tree house. Nothing exotic, but this house is pin-cone shaped and placed at an altitude of 10 m., at the same level of pine tree tops. An overnight in a magical place is to be celebrated with a Prosecco-based aperitif and cubes of Fresh Montasio.

 

  • Before practising bungee. It was born on the Pentecost Island (Pacific) as rite of passage for young men. The jump that originally took place from wooden towers, with men equipped with lianas at the ankles, and became a sport in 1993 only. From that date on, younger and older people challenge their fear of emptiness jumping from well-equipped installations with fit-for-purpose elastic supports. What would you eat best before jumping from an altitude of more than 100 meters? A chunk of Ripened Montasio, so rich in healthy nutrients like calcium and vitamins (further information at the following page: http://www.montasio.com/nutrition education/).

 

  • On a hot air balloon. “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return”. Said Leonardo Da Vinci. This is what they usually say when they try a hot air balloon flight, too. Since the balloon bends with the wind, it could happen to jolt during the trip. It is better to bring a snack you can keep in one hand so to have one free to hold at the handle of the balloon’s basket. A tasty tramezzino sandwich with cooked ham and Semi-aged Montasio.

 

  • After swimming with dolphins. In a marine park in Malta, accompanied by a professional dolphin trainer you can live the experience of diving in a pool together with these extraordinary sensible and intelligent mammals. Once out, and before meeting sea lions you have time enough to taste a hamburger with radicchio and Montasio, which is easy to digest and recharge energies without weighing down.

 

  • During a “bonfire night”. Why not to profit of a clear-sky night to try the typical American custom of gathering around a bonfire with friends? Instead of roasting marshmallows as cousins overseas do, you could dip toasted bread in a delicious Montasio fondue.

 

“Pairings with Montasio Pdo: suggestions of the chef Cesare Gasparri”

Cesare Gasparri (https://scuola.lacucinaitaliana.it/i-nostri-chef/cesare-gasparri) comes from Pesaro and after several experiences in the field of catering services, among others those in collaboration with prominent figures such as Gualtiero Marchesi and Luciano Tona, he moved to Milan to work for “La Cucina italiana” (The Italian Kitchen), where culinary tradition meets innovation and creativity. Today, the chef proposes many delicious ideas with Montasio and gourmet combinations worth a try. Let us find out together.

 

Montasio Pdo cheese expresses its peculiar features at best when combined with fruits, exotic ones as well. The important is to regulate and measure the two ingredients. As for preparations, the mango chutney pairs well with a ripened Montasio with its intense flavor and perfume. Even coconut tastes good in combination with a mature Montasio paying particular attention to balancing the overall sweetness of the course. For example, a crepe with fresh coconut, bitter cocoa and grated fresh Montasio. Another refined pairing is the following: fried cubes of fresh Montasio with a red fruit sauce, whose sourness helps to “clean” mouth between one mouthful and the next, for a pleasant tasting experience. Dried fruit, together with spices, for preparing choreographic lollipops (wafers) of Montasio for the delight of the most demanding dinner companions.

 

For a Montasio-based healthy and tasty second course, you can pair it with vegetables, adding vitamins and minerals to proteins and calcium of the cheese (for more details: http://www.montasio.com/nutrition-education/). For example, a salad of mixed turnips, prepared with raw celeriac, boiled beetroot and raw or roasted white turnips in combination with a Montasio sauce, or an oven-backed savoy cabbage with Montasio. In the choice of fruits of the garden, it is better considering seasonality, this way you will get the best from each product in terms of nutrients. In autumn, you can prepare delicious pumpkin tortelli filled with Montasio as first course, or a second course of fried cubes of Montasio and pumpkin. Even mushrooms pair very well with cheese. A lasagna with mushrooms and a Montasio fondue (with an extra-light béchamel for a fluffy lasagna) or a grill roasted porcino mushroom’s top sprinkled with grated Montasio and then cooked au gratin: simply mouthwatering.

 

Another mix you cannot miss is Montasio and fish. Mullet in particular, this is a ground fish with an intense flavor: very tasty combined with thin strips of Montasio mezzano and cooked in oven or steamed. Another proposal: roasted salmon paired with a Montasio sauce, a delicate and savory dish.

 

You just need a pinch of originality to prepare good, beautiful and healthy dishes with Montasio. Shortly the chef, Cesare Gasparri, will lead us to the discovery of delicious gourmet recipes. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date: https://business.facebook.com/MontasioCheese/.

Fit over 50s, foods for a beautiful and healthy body.

Metabolism changes over the years and body needs a particular attention on food intake. The need of nutrients such as calcium and vitamins increases, while the daily energy requirements decrease.

 

People over 50s need to think carefully about what they eat. The golden rule refers to a varied and balanced diet. You should eat a portion of fruits or vegetable per meal-according to season-a precious source of natural antioxidants. Consumption of red meat, especially sausages and cured meat, should be limited for the benefit of fish and legumes. These, in particular, contain phytoestrogens, helpful for menopausal women.

 

After the 50s, the muscle mass reduces of about 1-2% per year, therefore, it is important to ensure the body with an adequate amount of proteins. For this reason, you would rather introduce in your diet some products with a high nutritional value, as for example Montasio Pdo cheese, which entails up to 24-26% of proteins. One portion of 50 gr of Montasio aged for 2 months supplies about 12 gr of proteins, along with 370 mg of Calcium, 265 mg of Phosphorus and 209 mg of Vitamin A. These substances contribute in maintaining bones strong and healthy. To find out more about the nutrition facts table of the Montasio Cheese please consult the page: http://www.montasio.com/nutrition-education/.

 

However, the important is not only what you eat, but how and when, too. A correct chewing helps digestion and reduces appetite between one meal and the next one. Moreover, the caloric intake should be spread over the day. For example, assuming carbohydrates at breakfast and lunch allows the body to metabolize them into energy within the first part of the day. While a light, protein-based dinner accompanied with vegetables has significant benefits on digestion before sleeping.

 

Last, to be fit in your 50s you need to exercise, at least 5 days per week. From long walks in the countryside to yoga: the physical activity is fundamental to maintain a flexible and firm muscle structure, but event to prevent cardio-vascular problems. A regular physical exercise and healthy diet are the magic recipe for feeling good, no matter what is your age.

 

Montasio PDO cheese “Product of the Mountain” (PDM) and “Italian Red Pied Only” (PRI, Pezzata Rossa Italiana): “back to future” in the dairy tradition.

Product and process innovations may contribute to reinforce the relationship between an Italian excellence like Montasio PDO, territory and traditions.

 

In the past, the focus of dairy production was the selection of cattle breeds with a high productive specialization and industrialization of transformation processes. Today, the product’s origin and protection of the environment and animals’ health are a priority. In fact, even customers are more and more interested on these themes.

 

In this context, the experimentation supported by the Research and Technological Innovation Center for Agriculture of the University of Udine in collaboration with the Livestock Owner’s Association of Friuli Venezia Giulia moves forward for the sake of the production of Montasio Pdo cheese with the labels “Product of the Mountain” and “Italian Red Pied Only”.

 

In order to obtain the Montasio Pdo label, the cheese shall be produced in the area indicated by the Consortium for the Promotion of the product:  http://www.montasio.com/montasio-cheese/#production-area. Moreover, only the cheese produced with raw milk collected, processed and matured (for at least 60 days) at over 600 meters of altitude may be classified as “Product of the Mountain”. The further indication “Italian Red Pied Only” refers to the milk, which shall derive from animals that are inscribed in the herd book of this breed, recognized as “breed of national utility” in the 50s already. Where does the Red Pied come and when did it first appear? This specific cow takes origin from an experiment for the genetic improvement of the old Friulian breed through subsequent crossbreeds with the Fribourg breed first and Simmenthal at a later stage. In the early Sixties, this breed became very popular all around Italy and in 1986, the Friulian Red Pied turned into the Italian Red Pied.

 

Organoleptic and nutritional characteristics of cheese are deeply influenced by feeding of cows, which during summer graze free. The production of Montasio Pdo in the Alpine areas has a positive impact on the environment, since it contributes to the protection of agrobiodiversity and conservation of grasslands and pasture areas, as well as to the employment of inhabitants.

 

Montasio PDO-PDM-PRI is available at the Malga Montasio already, easily accessible by car from Sella Nevea (Municipality of Chiusaforte), and at the farm shops of the Dairy of Ugovizza.

September appointments with Montasio Pdo

Stops in the major Italian cities to spread knowledge, delicacy and authenticity of Pdo from Friuli.

 

The tour of tastings and aperitifs conceived by the Consortium for the protection of Montasio Pdo aims at giving value to quality and authenticity of this excellence outside the region. A journey that covers many cities in the north of Italy giving the chance to taste Montasio paired with refined wines from Friuli and Prosecco.

“A pairing that many sincerely like-says Martina Cavedon, marketing manager-and that, in the last months, has been welcomed with enthusiasm. I think of the suggestive matching of fresh and semi-aged Montasio with the splendid still Ribolla Gialla of Scarbolo and the magnificent extra-mature Montasio Stravecchio aged for over 3 years combined with the prestigious Schioppetino of the same year, of Scarbolo Sergio winery from Cividale del Friuli”.

Tastings are satisfying thanks to the guide of an expert from the National Organization of Cheese Tasters (Onaf, Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori di Formaggio), who leads the public at the discovery of scents, as well as tactile and taste-olfactory sensations of this cheese.

“Cheese is a fascinating product and deserves an analytical and emotional approach, the President of the Consortium, Maurizio Masotti, says. Our goal is promoting quality cheese and its reputation even through tastings of our dairy production. Montasio is characterized by varied, specific scents influenced by the type of milk used, the processing and ageing. Moreover, by virtue of its intrinsic properties and nutritional characteristics, this is a versatile product you can enjoy throughout the day”.

Upcoming events

Thursday, 14 September, in Siena, after the Conference on the cork industry with Carlos Dos Santos, Chief Executive Officer of Amorim, you will enjoy an aperitif with a tasting of Montasio paired with good white and red wines from Montecucco. A concert by the Alpine choir of the Politecnico University of Milan will follow.

Monday, 17 September appointment at the International School of Italian Cuisine, Alma of Parma, with a special aperitif: Montasio cheese paired with the precious Prosecco and presentation of the book “The Universal Winemaker” (original title “Il Vignaiolo Universale”) of the series “Mestieri d’Arte” accompained by Cinzia Benzi, sommelier and partner of Identità Golose magazine.

20 September in Turin Montasio will participate in the Salone del Gusto. Tastings for the visitors’ delight will be available during the five days of the exhibition, until 24 September.

29 and 30 September Montasio will be undisputed protagonist of Caseus Veneti, XIV Edition of the Regional Contest of Cheeses from Veneto, which will take place in the wonderful setting of Villa Contarini of Piazzola Sul Brenta in the province of Padua. An unmissable event for cheese lovers. In fact, you will have the opportunity to meet a master cheese-maker, taste pizza with Montasio and be tempted by a giant frico. There will be enough for 1,200 people.

Summer food: when cheese helps to stay fit

Green light for food rich in nutrients, but-nonetheless-highly digestible, such as Montasio cheese, better if combined with fruits or vegetables.

 

During summer season, diet experts recommend to prefer food rich in nutrients and highly digestible at the same time, in order to compensate the loss of mineral salts and vitamins due to copious perspiration, possibly without interfering with digestion. A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can improve the mental and physical well-being even in the hottest summer days.

 

First of all, never miss breakfast: if you do not provide energy at the right moment, your body slows down the normal consumption because it has no “fuel”, and when it is supplied with energy it is keen to preserve it, creating body fat, instead of use it. What shall we eat in the morning? An option could be oat flakes or a yoghurt with a fresh fruit. What about a snack? A light and healthy possibility may be a whole-wheat sandwich with 50g of fresh Montasio cheese, this last supplies 192 calories, but 370 g of calcium, 265 mg of phosphorus and 209 mg of vitamin A.

Find out more on the nutrition facts table of Montasio: http://www.montasio.com/nutrition-education/.

 

Even lunch and dinner would be perfect with fresh ingredients and low-processed foods, as for example whole-wheat pasta (better at lunch), Montasio cheese and vegetables (even three times per week), eggs and vegetables (up to twice per week), legumes and cereals (at least 2 times per week), fish and vegetables (up to three times per week). Especially during summer, vegetable should be eaten raw; so to preserve precious nutrients. Moreover, avoiding hot foods helps regulating body temperature.

 

If you want to stay fit avoid packaged foods rich in simple sugars, salt, preserving agents, which increase the fat mass with respect to the fat-free mass favoring salt and water imbalance that give rise to problems of water retention. Therefore, it is essential reading carefully the food labels and purchasing fresh foods mainly.

 

Physical exercise in combination with a healthy diet-as for example a late afternoon bike ride-reinforces the muscle mass and puts endorphins into circulation for a general sensation of well-being. You can find many advices for living well and following a correct diet in our Facebook page: https://business.facebook.com/FormaggioMontasio.

Serve me a risotto and I am happy!

Sonia Paladini, food blogger, pronounces these words before starting to narrate her recipe for Risotto with Montasio and Chanterelles

A delicate first course, but full-bodied thanks to the presence of Montasio Pdo, which perfectly matches with the sweet, intense taste of finferli mushrooms. These are collected from July to September, and are perfect to flavor first and second dishes. Montasio, mountain cheese with a soft and delicate taste and a balanced composition: 32 – 36% water, 32 – 34% fats, 24 – 26% proteins, combines with this type of mushroom for a savory, healthy and refined first course.

Here follows the recipe of Sonia Paladini.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 320 g of Carnaroli rice
  • 100 g of fresh Montasio Pdo
  • 100 g of fresh milk
  • 150 g of chanterelles
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50 g of onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
  • A drizzle of dry white wine
  • 1 liter of vegetable broth
  • Butter (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Ground pepper (to taste)
  • Sprigs of parsley

Procedure:

First of all, the Montasio sauce: put 100 g of milk and 100 g of Montasio in a small pot and heat the two ingredients until they melt. Turn off the stove and chill the sauce in the refrigerator.

Clean the mushrooms: wipe them with a soft brush and rinse with current water. Dry them and remove the ends.

Clean the garlic cut in half and remove the green germ. Fry it in a non-stick pan with extra virgin olive oil. Cook chanterelles on a lively flame for a few minutes adding a little bit of broth. Then spice with salt and pepper.

Prepare a vegetable mixture: clean and chop the onion finely, fry it in a large saucepan together with extra virgin olive oil and butter.

Add and toast the rice, then soften with the white wine. Cook the rice adding hot broth little by little.

When rice is ready, add half of the Montasio sauce and a nut of butter, stir to cream it and let it rest-covered-for about one minute.

Prepare individual plates and embellish them with the remaining Montasio cream, mushrooms, a little oil and some sprigs of parsley.

Enjoy!

 

La foodblogger Sonia Paladini racconta la degustazione di Montasio Dop.

Curiosità storiche e consigli per gustare al meglio questo buono e sano formaggio.

Di ritorno dalla degustazione di Formaggio Montasio Dop presso La Scuola di Cucina Italiana a Milano, la nota blogger appassionata di food & wine Sonia Paladini ha voluto raccontare sul suo blog l’incontro con il Montasio.

Secondo Sonia, il pregiato formaggio, è ottimo consumato grattugiato su paste e risotti o in aggiunta a minestre di verdure, perché in grado di esaltare i sapori di ogni singolo piatto. Il Montasio Dop si presta ad essere utilizzato per la preparazione di aperitivi rustici, ad esempio in aggiunta a salumi o polenta, ma anche per sfiziosi finger food, nei quali dare sfogo alla propria creatività, da abbinare magari a un ottimo calice di Prosecco Doc, come proposto durante la degustazione presso La Scuola di Cucina Italiana.

Durante la degustazione, è stato sottolineato come il Montasio Dop sia naturalmente privo di lattosio e abbia una composizione equilibrata (32 – 36% di acqua, 32 – 34% di lipidi e 24 – 26% di proteine). Inoltre, continua Sonia sul suo blog, l’assaggio di ricette a base di Montasio è stata accompagnata dal racconto della storia di questo storico formaggio, dal quale è emersa la passione per la natura e la montagna delle persone che realizzano questo prodotto. Il formaggio Montasio, la cui nascita viene fatta risalire attorno al 1700, deve la sua bontà alle particolari caratteristiche del suolo e del clima del Friuli Venezia Giulia e del Veneto Orientale nel quale viene prodotto e alla maestria dei casari, che nei secoli si sono trasmessi, di padre in figlio, le competenze del mestiere. A vigilare sulla tipicità del Montasio Dop è, dal 1984, il Consorzio Tutela del Formaggio Montasio (http://www.montasio.com/il-consorzio/).

“Un ottimo compagno di viaggio tra i sapori”, questa la definizione che Sonia dà del formaggio Montasio. Concedersi un pezzettino di Montasio a merenda o dopo l’attività sportiva, diventa una piccola coccola quotidiana, perché, prosegue Sonia, “Volersi bene è la priorità e la condizione necessaria per volerne anche agli altri”.

Per saperne di più sul racconto di Sonia alla degustazione, seguite il Montasio sul profilo Instagram ufficialehttps://www.instagram.com/formaggiomontasio/

Festa del Formaggio a Malnisio: il meglio della produzione di Montasio Dop

Proclamati i vincitori del sedicesimo concorso interregionale del Montasio Dop i cui produttori sono stati premiati domenica 8 luglio durante la storica “Festa del formaggio” a Malnisio che proseguirà fino al 15 luglio prossimo.

Parole di entusiasmo e soddisfazione sono state espresse dal responsabile del Gruppo festeggiamenti di Malnisio, Enore Zuccolin che ha sottolineato l’ottimo riscontro con un numero sempre crescente di caseifici in gara. 27 i partecipanti distribuiti fra le due regioni di produzione del Montasio Dop, Friuli Venezia Giulia e Veneto Orientale.

Premiati i primi tre classificati per il miglior Montasio, per ogni tipologia di stagionatura: fresco, mezzano e stagionato.

Nella categoria “Fresco” a primeggiare è stato il caseificio Della Savia di Basiliano (UD) con il casaro Silvano Della Savia; secondo il Caseificio sociale di Coderno (UD) con Nezha Hamdi; terzo il caseificio Sociale di Cividale/Valli del Natisone con Giovanni Buttolo.

Per la categoria “Mezzano”, si è distinta la Parmalat – Latterie Friulane di Campoformido, (UD) con il casaro Franco Della Mora; secondo ancora il caseificio Sociale di Cividale/Valli del Natisone con Giovanni Buttolo e terza la Latteria Sociale Turnaria di Maron di Brugnera (PN) con Giovanni Gardenal.

Per la categoria “Stagionato”, si è distinta ancora la Parmalat – Latterie Friulane di Campoformido, con il casaro Franco Della Mora, secondo il caseificio Artelatte di Ovaro (UD), con David Urban. Questo è Montasio PDM – prodotto di montagna – dove tutta la filiera produttiva, l’alimentazione delle bovine, la materia prima e le fasi di trasformazione e stagionatura, avviene in territorio montano; terze le Latterie Venete di Vedelago (TV) con Emanuele Bizzotto.

La giuria composta da esperti caseari e tecnici qualificati ha esaminato il prodotto sotto diversi aspetti e caratterizzazioni valutando il formaggio per le sue caratteristiche aromatiche, i profumi, i sapori, i colori, evidenziando delle punte di eccellenza che hanno saputo distinguersi per qualità e “bellezza”.

A presenziare alla manifestazione il neoassessore alle risorse agroalimentari del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Stefano Zannier il quale ha ricordato quanto sia prioritario e fondamentale la valorizzazione di questa eccellenza, il presidente del Consorzio di tutela del Montasio Dop, Maurizio Masotti, il presidente dell’Associazione Allevatori Regionale, Renzo Livoni e il presidente dell’organizzazione di Malnisio, Omar De Pol.

Sempre apprezzatissima la degustazione guidata aperta a tutti che ha coinvolto un’ottantina di persone particolarmente attente e interessate all’iniziativa.