Hansel and Gretel and the cheese house in the woods: the fable of nutritional health.

When Hansel and Gretel – the two little brothers from the Grimm’s brother’s fairy tale – get lost in the woods, they are desperate. The stepmother doesn’t want them with her and they have been abandoned by their dad because he was too poor to take care of his family.

Despite the fear, however, the little ones follow the path and, at a certain point, starved and very tired, they reach a small house in the middle of a clearing. They approach to ask for something to eat and that’s when they realize that the little house – and we are talking about the whole house! – is made of soft cheese.

The mailbox, the handle, the door, the windows, the steps in front of the entrance, the jars with flowers placed on the windowsills… everything is to be eaten, everything is delicious! “Wait Hansel, there’s something wrong here.” Gretel says as her brother devours the door jamb. “Shouldn’t this little house be made of marzipan?”

«Come on, why does it matter? The important thing is that it is good to eat and trust me, it is great! This cheese tastes of milk, grassy pastures and good things … ”

“But that’s not right! The story is clear: we didn’t go all this way to be eating cheese. Gretel begins to call loudly. “Someone should be livinging here. I’d like explanations. ”

And all of a sudden, an old woman with a basket of bread in her hand appears from the half-eaten door. “Uuuh… beautiful children, and how hungry they are!” she says, “Come to the house, there is also a salad and …” “No, just a moment.” Gretel stops her brother who is running inside, “this house, by contract, should be made of marzipan and you should be ugly and dangerous: why are you so smiling and pretty?” And the old lady laughs. “You don’t know how boring it is to be bad and ugly, my dear. Sometimes in life you have to change your habits. Marzipan may be tasty but it’s not good for you! Sugar clogs arteries and causes the decay of teeth. This cheese, on the other hand, is healthy and nutritious. It gives real energy, strengthens the bones, protects the teeth, helps the brain to stay awake and does not burden digestion. I have lately become health conscious; I no longer eat marzipan and both children and liver and heart and teeth thank me for that. It completely changed my life: I even go running every morning and I feel great! Furthermore, I often have guests here at Casina del Montasio Dop and I am no longer lonely. So: are you staying for lunch? ” “But … our dad is poor and if we can’t steal your treasure, we won’t be able to go home …” ” This means that I will hire him” says the old lady “so we will produce lots of good cheese for everyone!”


Author: Emanuela Valentini

Fairy tales. Even good neighbors love cheese: the secret of Agana.

In shepherd’s cottage on the Giulie and Carniche Alps, on the night in front of the fire, the stories of the woods and the creatures that inhabit them are told. Among all, Aganas stand out, very ugly wicked witches with twisted fingers and sharp noses, always ready to play tricks on the wanderer on duty, on those who are making wood or simply on those who are on the mountain meadows to play or have a picnic. It is said that once upon a time, Aganas were lovely and kind to people, to those people that they did not make them lose along the paths or slip into the stones: this is because they always had with them – tied to the belt – a bag full of cubes of the best cheese of the mountain: Montasio, which kept them always young, beautiful, happy and therefore kind. Then, someone stole their bags and without that delicious nourishment, Aganas began to age, their bones ached, and their mood deteriorated beyond repair.

The old people of the mountain, however, know the tricks to avoid falling into the traps of magical creatures: that’s why we decided to reveal the one to curry favor with Aganas, very simple and easy to make.

When you go to the mountains, never forget to take some diced Montasio with you in a bowl. And if you meet a grumpy old woman who tries to direct you to the stone pit, offer her the cheese. In fact, a small dice is enough to transform the witch into a sweet fairy who will offer to show you the most evocative corners of our Alps, that will turn you into a friend of the wild animals that hide in the woods and play with the great butterflies of the mountain and you will live an unforgettable trip.

Because you know, to feel good, to feel fit and to be in a good mood, it is necessary to eat in the best way; healthy food is the basis of our well-being and also the one of these magical creatures. This is why including Montasio in the diet of the whole family is the wisest choice; Montasio is a nutritious and good cheese that is good for everyone. And by all I mean everyone: those with lactose intolerance can enjoy it without fear, because Montasio at 60 days of aging is naturally lactose-free, transformed into lactic acid by some friendly bacteria that are added to the milk in the initial stages of production. Bring it to your picnics: Aganas will thank you!

Cheese and literature. The Frenzy of Orlando? The hungry Astolfo!

Astolfo, just out of the harpy hunt, is starving.

“What was the last time have I had a good meal, worthy of the paladin I am?”

“Hello, Astolfo!” says a creature who is waiting for him on the lawn.

“And who would you be?”

The animal introduces itself «I am a Hippogriff! Your taxi for the next adventure! ”

«Let’s not joke. I’m entitled to eat some food and get some rest after each and every mission: please take me to the nearest five-star hotel. ”

“Actually, I’ll take you to a better place!” Exclaims the Hippogriff: there is a friend who wants to meet you to reveal a secret about Orlando. ”

«A despot who pays little! I know all I should know about him. Let’s go eat, which is better. ”

«But you’ve never seen the Earthly Paradise. If you knew how to eat well … ”


The two arrive in a wonderful place, full of restaurants and snack bars. When Astolfo is about to sit down and order his meal, an elderly guy arrives and asks him to take a walk.

“Can’t we talk while we eat?” Astolfo protests.

“There’s no time for that. You’ll eat when this mission is over. ”

“And who would you be now? ”

«I’m Saint John the Evangelist. You must know that your boss is mad and furious. He has actually lost his wisdom. ”

“I had no doubts,” says Astolfo. “So, what do you do? Shall I resign? ”

“No! I’ll take you to the place where all the things lost by men are found. There you will recover Orlando’s precious wisdom and bring it back to him, so the war can end.”

“I hope it’s close because I have a fam …”

“On the moon.”

And the two, at supersonic speed, cross the celestial vault to the moon. Astolfo smells a good scent as they land on the uneven and white surface, soft to the touch and so inviting that he can’t help but peel off a piece and taste it.”

“But it’s … it’s…cheese!”

“The wisdom!” The saint screams:”You should be looking for it!”

But hunger prevails and happy Astolfo devours an entire portion of the moon.

«Fragrant, light, nutritious. Good for paladins of all ages. » An inhabitant of the moon explains as Astolfo feeds on the top of a mound of soft cheese.

«Its name is Montasio. It is particularly suitable for feeding heroes because of its energetic nutrients: proteins, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins… and it is naturally lactose-free, so it is digestible and does not hinder the missions. By the way: why are you here? ”

“I’m looking for my boss’s wisdom!” Astolfo answers with his mouth full while sitting on those delicious humpbacks. He finally feels full, invigorated and happy as never before.

Now he can brilliantly carry out his mission!

And we too, if Montasio Dop is on our tables.

Montasio souvenirs: flavors to not forget.

Last day of vacation in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Marika is in chaos, as always happens when you pack your bags or realize you have to leave a place where you have felt at home and at your place.

Clothes, beauty-cases, marked maps of the nature trails visited, tourist guides of what to do, see and visit in the region are already crammed in the trunk of the car. Still, Marika seems to be missing something.

Souvenirs, we didn’t take anything as a souvenir! And yes, you told me to remember it, Marco! –

The husband is at the hotel lobby, about to return the room’s keys.

– But yes, we took them once a place. In San Daniele I got raw ham, in Treviso a bottle of prosecco and in Chiusaforte a selection of Montasio cheeses. Those cheeses whose properties have been praised practically everywhere due to the absence of lactose and the richness of proteins, calcium and vitamins and which is an integral part of the history of the territory and the main ingredient of frico! –

Marika looks at him while, from her memory, some images of the actions performed and the stories told through the taste, smell and sight of Montasio – based recipes emerge to the surface.

– Weird, I stayed at the dairy we visited near Treviso. The one where there were brochures on the nutritional properties and methods of production of the region’s food and wine specialties. We had to take the cheeses we tasted there and then, they are all perishable products … –

Mirco raises an eyebrow.

– Honey, they are all products that travel throughout the country in specially made packages to ensure their quality. When in doubt, however, I put them in the cooler bag that I bought in a supermarket in Udine. The one I put in the corner at the end of the bed. By the way, have you already put it in the car? Sara and Samuel have made a space for it on purpose. –

Silence falls, the bag with the Souvenirs from Montasio. The one with San Daniele, prosecco and the selection of malga cheeses with different maturations, gluten-free, lactose-free and named Samuel’s favorite holiday food was still in the room.

You can hear the dlin of the elevator doors opening. A hotel employee comes out with a bag on his shoulder.

– In room 15 there was this, is it yours?

– Yup! – Mirco and Marika exclaim together.

It is the Montasio souvenir bag. The one that can’t be forget in order to bring home the flavors of a memorable holiday, although with some small unexpected events.

Five curiosities about cheese

How good is cheese? A lot.

How many enigmas surround such an ancient delicacy? An infinite number of possibilities.

That’s why the Montasio Dop editorial team read them all – or nearly all- and gathered and picked for you the prettiest, most exclusive, and most amusing ones that will help us learn more about the cheese we eat.

  1. Did you know, for example, that the method of making cheese dates back to the Middle Ages? Did you know that the method of producing cheese dates back to 7,000 BC? In reality, the first sheep and goat farms in Asia were discovered around that time. Even the Romans and Etruscans were cheese producers and consumers, but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the techniques were established and refined in monasteries, and it wasn’t until later that the cheeses were available on the market.
  2. And did you know that the classic rounded shape of the types comes from the fact that the first cheeses were manufactured inside the wheels to make them easier to transport when engines weren’t yet invented? They had them rolled!
  3. We’re sure this news will astound you as well: The World Cheese Award is held every year in Birmingham, England! You read that correctly: a competition for cheeses, with 300 professional tasters deciding the winner, the best of all!
  4. The most popular cheeses in the Middle Ages were Marzolino and Parmigiano-Reggiano, also known as “maggengo” because it was made in May. Even, it’s brief. Montasio, Grana, and buffalo mozzarella were born shortly after in the Abbeys of Moggio Udinese, Chiaravalle, and San Lorenzo di Capua: true gems of the wonderful Mediterranean diet.
  5. Is it true that the cheese forms have holes? If so, what exactly is the “occhiatura”?

Yes, these rotondeggiant characteristic fores are carbon- used anidride bolles that stow away during maturation. And they can be various sizes, small and sweet like in our Montasio Dop!

Say cheese! The real meaning of the famous sentence.

We’re all smiling in the pictures. This, however, has not always been the case. Until the mid-nineteenth century, it was not common practice to smile for a photograph. According to historical records, the teeth first appeared in 1953. Instead, the first smiles appeared in the mid-1940s.

What is the cause of this change?

There’ s several theories about it. One of the most popular theories is that this habit was invented by American President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II.

It was a painful moment with nothing to laugh about. The war, the economic crisis, the bombs… it appears that Roosvelt decided to instill trust and hope in the population by displaying happy faces.

A form of resiliency, a modern-day revolutionary gesture. That smile contained the following promise: Come on, the war is about to end, and we will be fine again.

However, there’s another theory that would explain the use of the word “cheese,” when about to take a photograph.

A good English photographer wandered through the valleys of Friuli many years ago in search of the perfect photograph.

The scenery was beautiful, and the light was fantastic, but his boss kept saying he wanted something more… Something unique: something that had never been seen in a photograph before.

As a result, the photographer attended a village festival where farmers and shepherds displayed the fruits of their labor. And he thought that portraying those traditional figures would be a good idea, so he gathered a group of local men and women and asked them to pose for him in a serious and professional manner.

Those, on the other hand, kept smiling, and the photographer turned to see where they got their happiness. And he realized it. Behind him was the Montasio Dop display, and they were just cutting a large ivory wheel and arranging many cubes of soft Montasio on large porcelain plates to allow the tasting.

His photos became famous because they were unique, and he never forgot to ask anyone who posed for him to say: cheese!

And the choice has never been more appropriate: the calcium and phosphate found in Montasio are true allies of the smile. They aid in the regeneration of tooth enamel and minerals depleted by use.

Are you ready for a happy family selfie?

Montasio and innovation: the two sides of manufacturing.

Marika and her family had decided to stop in Treviso for an aperitif during the aperitif time.

The recommended places to visit in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region’s tourist brochure looked amazing, and the recommended shops looked like boutiques. Sara was overjoyed. Following the excursion to the Malghe del Montasio, a visit to Treviso seemed as enjoyable as Sunday shopping at the mall.

– Look, the same cows as yesterday in the mountains! – Samuel exclaimed, pointing to the car window glass.

Beyond a fence and an endless field, the same quality of cows chosen to produce PDO cheesesgrazed with the same tranquillity as their mountain cousins.

A little further on, a sign directed you to the “Consorzio” and the dairy products shop (Latteria), where you could purchase fresh and genuine products. Sara began to puff when they decided to go see.

– Don’t worry, Sara; let’s just go see and then walk around Treviso. Marika murmured comfortingly.

In the Latteria, the retailers explained in detail which technologies had remained true to Montasio dairy traditions and which innovations had brought additional verified and certified benefits to the production of one of the region’s most renowned and sought-after cheeses.

Sara came across a brochure about the Composition of Italian PDO cheeses.

 During the production of some aged cheeses, bacteria are added to the milk, which eliminates lactose and converts it to lactic acid. Lactose-free Montasio aged 60 days, for example.

Lactose is present in quantities less than 0.01 g per 100 g of cheese, which is more than ten times lower than the limit set by national and community legislation.

Furthermore, the technology used to make Montasio cheese does not involve the use of gluten-containing ingredients. Laboratory research at the DISMA of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Milan also confirms that the Montasio cheese samples analyzed do not contain gluten and are therefore suitable for celiacs.

Sara was so immersed in her reading that she didn’t notice her parents and brothers had finished the tour.

Marco turned to Marika as he walked away, asking her to remember the location.

A basket of Montasio specialties would have been a tasty souvenir for the entire family’s taste buds.

– Okay, Sara, where are you? –I’ m here! – exclaimed the girl as she joined them.

She slipped the information brochure into her pocket, hoping She’d finish it later or at the next stop.

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.


Lifestyle: quando il Pic Nic è chic.

Un cestino in stile provenzale, una grande tovaglia abbinata alle stoviglie e un ventaglio di pietanze attentamente selezionate. Oggi anche il Pic Nic domenicale con la famiglia o con gli amici richiede stile e cura dei dettagli.

Per rendere perfetta una scampagnata fuori porta è indispensabile innanzitutto assicurarsi di possedere un set di portavivande che permettano di trasportare comodamente le pietanze. Per dare un tocco glamour alla mise en place si possono scegliere una tovaglia colorata, da posizionare sopra a una coperta adagiata sull’erba, e stoviglie in ceramica dai colori chiari in modo da creare un gradevole contrasto di colore. L’atmosfera può essere resa ancora più country chic da un mazzetto di fiori posizionato al centro della tovaglia.

Quali pietanze scegliere per un Pic Nic di successo? Le parole d’ordine sono: qualità, stagionalità e creatività. I prodotti Made in Italy dal sapore genuino sono assolutamente da preferire per la preparazione di piatti conditi da un pizzico di fantasia. Ad esempio, invece dei classici panini, si possono preparare dei muffins al prosciutto e formaggio Montasio, da proporre come antipasto; per poi proseguire con una pasta fredda alle verdure e una coloratissima macedonia di frutta fresca. In questo modo si combineranno i principi nutritivi del Montasio, come il calcio, le proteine e la vitamina A, con le fibre contenute nella frutta e nella verdura. Ovviamente bisogna tenere conto dei gusti personali e delle intolleranze alimentari delle persone che partecipano al Pic Nic.

Da non dimenticare, infine, di portare una palla, delle racchette e dei giochi da tavolo per divertirsi tutti insieme dopo il pranzo.

Nato in Francia dopo la Rivoluzione, quando i cittadini presero l’abitudine di organizzare pranzi negli ampi giardini reali, il Pic Nic ha preso così piede che gli è stata dedicata una Giornata Internazionale, il 18 giugno. Già pensato al luogo perfetto nel quale organizzarne uno très chic?