Producing (and buying) in the malga means obtaining quality products with strong organoleptic characteristics and at the same time helping to support a production system that guarantees the attractiveness of the mountain area and various services to society.
The processing technique of Montasio DOP cheese, which takes its name from the plateau of the same name, boasts an ancient tradition, handed down as far back as 1200. But to officially regulate the name it seems to have been the decree of 22 August 1773, which sanctioned the sale of typical local products at a fixed price to the traders of Udine. Later, in 1880, several dairies joined together to support the production and processing of Montasio cheese.
Today Montasio PDO is regulated by a strict production disciplinary. In fact, only after rigorous checks can the forms be officially marked. On the sides of the wheels, it is possible to recognize the DOP mark, the word “Montasio” repeated obliquely, the origin, the code “000” attributed to Malga Montasio precisely to reiterate its historical importance, and the date of production.
If the aging of Montasio cheese also takes place in the mountain area of the PDO production area, the indication “PDM” (acronym of the wording “Prodotto Della Montagna” – mountain product) is also present, while if the cheese is produced with milk from only the Red Spotted breed appears the abbreviation “PR”.
Among the rules imposed by the production disciplinary of Montasio cheese, the one that requires a minimum aging of 60 days is rather onerous, at least as regards the situation of the malga. In practice, the branded cheese produced in season can be consumed and marketed in the malga only from the second half of August. Before this period, it is however possible to taste the delicious Malga Montasio cheese, produced with a similar process, but which, also by virtue of the adoption of the good practices indicated by a regional food safety project called “Small Local Productions”, can be consumed already 30 days after production.
The strong link of Montasio cheese with its production area is undeniable and gives the palate a unique and unmistakable taste deriving from the floristic richness of the pastures and the processing in respect of the natural microflora of the milk.
More than 60 different volatile compounds have been identified that contribute to the definition of the aroma of Montasio PDO-PDMPR cheese which, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, is a real elixir of well-being.