Robiola di Roccaverano, wonderful 40 year old DOP! – Italian Cuisine


French goats? Ha ha ha … maybe you have never tasted the robiola di Roccaverano! Of course, that ours is a country of dairy delicacies we know it and it certainly does not have to make us notice the comparison with our French cousins: from the neighboring Valdostana Fontina to the inimitable Gorgonzola, from the pecorino all to be discovered to the buffaloes – which now go well beyond mozzarella – to the Parmesan to conquer the world , we are so greedy of our cheeses that, if possible, we find the way to even eat the crust!
And yet, as far as goats are concerned, we tend to always perceive ourselves in the shadow of the producers of chèvre. Well, we repeat: we must try out the Robiola di Roccaverano!

172018It is a specialty of the homonymous country piedmontese, not far from the Ligurian lands and at the same time the capital of the Langa Astigiana, of which it is the highest municipality in a landscape of wild hill but at the same time tamed and shaped by man. In reality the area of ​​production of this robiola is now composed of as many as 19 municipalities, of which almost half are in the province of Alessandria. On all the vegetation of the area of ​​the area where the goats feed, the damp winds that come from the sea blow; according to the season, the flocks produce milk with different flavors: the sainfoin, for example, is a very popular herb, which makes robiola sweet.

172015The origins of this exquisite cheese are very ancient and date back even to Celts settled in Liguria. But do you know who decreed the Robiola di Roccaverano produced with protected origin, DOP? Nothing less than the President of the Republic Sandro Pertini, which in March of 40 years ago signed its signature on the recognition decree.

So what are its characteristics? White pasta and soft, this cheese is made with raw milk, which can be entirely of goat of the Roccaverano and Camosciata Alpina breeds, or mixed goat (minimum 50%) with milk of Langhe sheep or cow, of Piedmontese or Bruna Alpina breed. These animals eat only local foods (minimum 80%). The minimum percentage of fat on the dry substance must be not less than 40%.

172009The shape of the cheeses is the classic cylindrical one. The taste varies from mild to decided, depending very much on the seasoning. In fresh version (matured from 4 to 8 days), the Robiola di Roccaverano is soft and creamy, almost crust-free and with a delicate, tasty and / or slightly acid taste. The typology refined or aged on the other hand, it has a straw-colored and reddish crust with a natural flowering of mold and under the crust the consistency can be soft and a little compact or particularly creamy. The taste? definitely decided!

And speaking of decision: when you don't know how to decide in the choice between fresh and seasoned, buy at least a couple, to enjoy a fresh one and let the other mature in the fridge, keeping it in a porous bowl porcelain or terracotta, covered by a saucer of the same material (no plastic or glass!). Live milk enzymes will continue to work for you, and it will be a little satisfying to have finished making cheese at home!

172012Alone with a good bread is delicious; seasoned with oil and chilli – especially in the fresh versions – also. In the kitchen it is excellent for fillings but also for dressing pasta. Wines to match? Barbera d’Asti and Monferrato; Grignolino and Dolcetto d’Asti. As whites, the Gavi DOCG for the fresh and the Loazzolo DOC for the seasoned.

Finally: to celebrate the 40 DOPs of Robiola there is a calendar of events in the Piedmont region throughout 2019, among which the party dedicated to her by her country of origin, Roccaverano, stands out. 29 and 30 June: the XIX Carrettesca Fair – Festival of Robiola di Roccaverano DOP.

Carola Traverso Saibante
March 2019


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