Diet and pregnancy: thanks to Montasio Dop, cheese is no longer prohibitive.

Pregnancy is certainly one of the most intense and exciting periods in the life of a woman but also of all the people around her. The health of the unborn child strictly depends on mother’s one and proper nutrition is essential for a correct development of the fetus, a good outcome in childbirth and for the prevention of neonatal diseases. All of this will also affect the growth of the little one for a long time after giving birth.

It is, therefore, necessary to carry on a balanced diet, based on the correct quantities of portions, respecting meal times.

Cheeses, in themselves, are excellent foods for a pregnant woman as they are rich of proteins, minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which are essential for the mother’s bones and the growth of the baby’s one, as well as vitamins, essential for the bone marrow. However, not all cheeses are recommended during pregnancy, because of the possibility that they become a means of contamination.

In fact, aged cheeses are among the most easy to absorb and use. You shouldn’t give up on taste and moments to spend in company in front of a healthy, tasty and nutritious meal, in one of the most unforgettable moments of your life. And what’s better than the Montasio Dop cheese, with its four maturations, its local production, typical of the Alps, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Eastern Veneto, as well as its high nutritional value with a balanced composition. A semi-hard cooked cheese, with a soft characteristic and delicate flavor, balanced, without excesses, which thanks to its high digestibility adapts to the tastes of people of all ages, even for those who are celiac or lactose intolerant.

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 traditions. flavors at high altitude

Marika is well aware that vacation means outdoor activities for her family and husband. One of the reasons she married him was because of this.

Since she was a child, she had admired her father’s image of an adventurous man, capable of overcoming adversity with a cheerful demeanor, perhaps for the journey through the Montasio’s malghe, from Chiusaforte to the Giacomo di Brazzà refuge was a bit much for a first day of exploring the Val Arba nature reserve.

Sara wasn’t complaining, but Samuel was getting tired and disheartened, so he stopped asking how much was missing from the shelter.

– Perhaps we should go back… – Marika murmured, concerned.

– We’re almost there; just a few more steps and we’ll arrive at the refuge! Marco exclaimed, his usual smile on his face.

The sight of the house drew Samuel’s interest as he walked past everyone to get to the benches where he could sit while the adults stared out the window.

At the refuge, you could enjoy local specialties, and the manager suggested starting with cold cuts and mountain cheeses.

– I like cheese, but I’m lactose intolerant… – Marco explained.

– Don’t worry, the Montasio cheese produced in the malga is excellent, even for lactose intolerant people, and has so many good qualities for growth and health that it gives you enough energy to go around the huts twice.

The manager of the refuge explained that Montasio cheese is highly valued because, in ancient times, the breeders of neighboring villages drove their cows to the mountain huts, which were the best place for grazing despite being difficult to reach.

The cows are free to roam and are not confined to the enclosure all day, allowing them to breathe in the fresh mountain air and tender mountain herbs.

They produced exquisite milk for the calves and their owners under those conditions, a raw material for making cheeses and dairy specialties rich in calcium, proteins, and vitamins and with very low, if any, lactose concentrations.

– Do cows still graze in this area? Asked Samuel after eating his share of Montasio cheese as well as his father’s.

– Yes, you’ll find them when you get to the huts.

In fact, they discovered them grazing in a calm and peaceful manner, perfectly integrated with the profiles and slopes of Montasio.

Samuel had never seen them up close; he imagined them in a stable in the middle of the flat fields.

– They are nice because they allow themselves to be caressed! Samuel yelled.

– Yes, but please avoid making sudden movements that startle them! –

– All right! –

Marika thought she should have named him Peter, after Heidi’s friend, because he was so lively, with red cheeks and her father’s smile on his face.

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.

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: 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: 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 ( 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: 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:

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: 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.