Italian Food and Flavours

Artisan Raw Milk Cheese: Formaggi a Latte Crudo

Artisan Raw Milk Cheese: Formaggi a Latte Crudo

We have discovered a small cheese farm in Belmonte Piceno, Le Marche  which produces cheese like no other we’ve ever tasted. The handmade cheeses from Fontegranne farm range from mild to very strong.

They all have a depth and complexity of flavour and earthy or sometimes fruity taste , that is at first tricky for the palate to comprehend. 

Why is this cheese so different?

Well, all their cheese is made from raw milk/latte crudo and thus is unpasteurised and all the lovely micro organisms that help produce the cheese’s flavours aren’t destroyed by sterilisation.

A quick research made me realise that raw milk is a contentious issue, particularly in the USA due to potential problems with bacteria, but after reading I have personally concluded that :

: raw milk cheese is not as susceptable to the wrong bacteria as raw milk can be, and when done right and under controlled conditions raw milk cheese is not only safe but nutritionally beneficial.

:It is full of good bacteria which our tummies need and enzymes in raw milk help in the digestion of the sugars, fats and minerals in the milk, according to a research report published in the July 2008 edition of the journal “Appetite.” Pasteurization destroys these enzymes and makes it difficult to digest milk, thereby leading to lactose intolerance which can lead to abdominal bloating, diarrhea and cramps

: the deep, fragrant flavours are worth it. 

: also, we should support the small scale and local production of an artisan, traditional food product so they don’t in the future disappear. The modern world of food often seems about large scale, standardisation and everything produced in a totally sterile way. 

This is ‘real’ food made by a local Italian family who are passionate about their products. Their motto is:

“to make the best hay on their farm, in order to feed their animals every day and produce the best quality milk. Then every morning to turn this milk into unique cheeses”

These kind of people make me smile. I abhor processed food, packaged in plastic and often tasting of plastic. Let us give our taste buds some freedom!

We very much hope to be able to take guests on our Italian Food and Flavours cooking holidays to this farm to try these cheeses for themselves. The photos show some of the range of cheeses they had available on the day of our visit. There were no goats cheeses but as of yesterday,  lots of baby goats have been born so we shall be returning to sample the new cheeses asap.

We tried a tangy, fruity, mellow cheese called Luna Rossa 

Also a Luna Giallo – a Brie type cheese

The Luna Umbriaca meaning ‘drunken moon’ was interesting as had been soaked in wine!

Also, a tiny slither of their extra special cave aged cheese ( formaggio di Fossa) which was a taste sensation. Underneath where we stood was a pit where the cheese is carefully wrapped in cloth and sealed in the pit to cure for 3 months! After unearthing, the cheese has a musky,  earthy, pungent, almost truffle like aroma.

One of our favourites was a fresh, creamy, rich ricotta coated in chilly flakes – we liked the contrast between the flavours.

They also make mozzarella and delicious and healthy yoghurt.

Rural Italian artisan food at its best within the stunning landscape of Le Marche region. 

  • Cave aged cheese

  • What are you looking at?

  • An amazing range of cheeses at Fontegranne!

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