Dairy product made with cow's milk, obtained adding the so-called "agro" (an acid whey) to the whey remaining after the cheese cooking. Afterwards, everything is cooked again. The product has the classical shape of a truncated cone, with a size varying from 200g to 1,500g. Fresh product, with very white texture, small holes, tender and crumbly, with a sweet taste. In order to better preserve the product, it used to be smoked (poìna fumàda) on wooden boards or shelves over the fireplace. The rounds acquired therefore a dark rind and the characteristic smoky-yellow texture, with small and scattered holes and a greater consistency than the fresh product.
Territory involved in the production: Primiero
Processing, conservation, and maturation methods
The milk used must come from cows eating hay coming from permanent pastures or from grazing cows. No silages are admitted. The use of simple or compound fodder is admitted. The milk processing does not admit the use of either additives or preservatives. The cow breeds that can be used for the milk production are Bruna, Grigio Alpina, and other breeds. Milk is collected with insulated tanks and tank trucks, cold or cooled in the stable, once or twice a day. In the morning, the skimmed evening milk (about 1/3 of the total) is mixed with the whole morning milk (2/3 of the total); skimming takes place through natural surfacing. In the boiler, milk is gradually heated at a temperature of 32/34°C, slowly shaking. Then the natural milk enzyme is added, and later the cow's milk rennet. Coagulation takes place in 25/35 minutes. The curd is cut to obtain grains with the size of a corn grain. Cooking takes place in 20/25 minutes, constantly shaking, and ends at a temperature of 44/47°C. After 5/10 minutes, the curd settles on the bottom. After extracting the whey, the curd is extracted too and put with clothes in the special wooden or plastic molds.
Whey is heated up again at a temperature of 85-89 C°. At this temperature, agro or vinegar or magnesium sulphate (from 0.3 to 0.5%) are added. Ricotta is left surfacing and then extracted. In the past, ricotta was put to drain into a wooden basket. Today, plastic molds are used. After about an 8-hour drainage, ricotta is stored in a cool place or in the fridge, where it can be preserved at 4°C for 3 days.
Another conservation method is smoking. In this case, after drainage, the molds are put on wooden boards or shelves over the fireplace. Wood burning and the consequent production of smoke completed the smoking process in about one week. Today, the same smoking method is used, since the smoking in the oven does not give the same result.
Processing premises: It is produced in standard premises.
In the past, if it was not eaten immediately, ricotta was smoked and preserved in the so-called "volt" (cellar) at a room temperature. It was processed with water and salt like homemade cheese, but often it remained over the fireplace. Today it is preserved in the fridge at a temperature between 4 and 10°C.
|Caseificio di Primiero||Mezzano di Primiero (TN)|