Raspadüra is one of the strongest expressions of belonging to the Lodigiano area. "Already in Piacenza they don't even know what it is!" He jokes Paolo Raimondi, one of its producers and supporters, as well as the first who had the brilliant intuition to start selling it. The raspadüra, in fact, for its rare goodness, has always been present on the benches and tables of the Lodigiano area, but was not found packed in trays like today. Over time, two or three other companies followed it, also because everyone likes raspadüra, especially children. Furthermore, it is one of those productions where human presence still makes the difference: no machine, in fact, would be able to scratch the such thin cheese veils.
A recovery product
The raspadüra was born as a poor recovery food, to avoid throwing them away imperfect grain shapes, those that could not age due to some defects, such as holes, cracks or bubbles. So these were given to the peasants, who had the idea of starting to scrape them, obtaining thin sheets of rasped grain (hence the name) by hand from the surface of the shape with the help of a particular knife and a manual lathe that he turns the cheese around. "There is no machine capable of making such a thin veil, only the hand of a man it can keep the blade perfectly half out of shape and half inside . For this reason, the presence of man is fundamental and irreplaceable, as well as guardian of his perfection. Since its invention, raspadüra has never been lacking in the Lodi area: before, it was sold in the square, on the counters, during the markets, where there were always endless rows to have it; then also in restaurants, where it is taken immediately as soon as you sit down, without even needing to order it. But until about ten years ago no one had ever thought of packaging such a good product and selling it. Nobody before the Raimondi family.
The Raimondi family
The Raimondi family has been producing cheese since the beginning of the century. And it does so in a wonderful Lombard farmhouse, in Ospedaletto Lodigiano, where once there were still more than 600 dairies in the area and not four like today. The Raimondi, with the milk of their 800 cows, all Friesian, produce the typical Lodi, which is similar to Grana Padano, but differs in a slightly better quality, selected only from some stables (in addition to their own). It is from the typical Lodigiano, only from him, that the raspadüra is obtained, starting from healthy (therefore no longer destined for waste as in the past) and young forms, no older than 4-5 months. A more seasoned grain, in fact, would be too hard and flake, so it is better to be grated. In addition, the typical young Lodigiano also has a sweeter flavor; that's why raspadüra is so popular with children! So, perhaps by dint of seeing the success he had in the family, about 12 or 13 years ago Paolo Raimondi thought: "But if everyone likes it so much, why not make the raspadüra always available in a tray?". The success was immediate, so much so that today they produce about 2000 trays of raspadüra per day; the same that you also find at Esselunga. And there is no puff of raspadüra that does not come out perfect, as it should be: thin, fluffy, light and delicate. Like silk.
Raspadüra in the kitchen
The raspadüra is perfect as it is, on its own, just as they bring it in the restaurants of the Lodigiano. Alternatively, these very thin strips of cheese lend themselves to various combinations: from meat (try to roll it in rolls!) at soups or to polenta, until the creaming of the risotto, to make it truly sublime. And then once opened, the tray can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks, even if it is unlikely to last all these days! So over time the raspadüra has gone from a by-product of recovery to a super refined delicacy even in the most refined kitchens, where some chefs can no longer do without it. For this reason, in the last period of crisis due to Covid-19, sales have slightly decreased, unlike other always Lombard products whose home consumption has increased, such as eggs, which have gone from around 600-700 thousand sold 3 million per week. But Raimondi is optimistic: "We are getting out of it." So we too can only hope to participate in the raspadüra race held every autumn in Lodi, where the “Raspadüra trophy"The buffer that manages in the shortest time possible to make the most beautiful and, of course, the most thin sheet!