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Milk: Cow, Raw Milk

Country: Italy, Sondrio Lombardy

Accompaniment: Off-dry whites, fruity reds

Bitto is produced in the Valtellina valley in the Lombardy. It is named after the river Bitto, which runs into the river Adda and in turn into Lake Como, where I used to spend my summers as a kid. The cheese is made in high alpine pastures in the summer and initially aged in small stone huts that have been used for this purpose since the 1600s (the “Catalogue” by Ortensio Lando details the making of this cheese).

The cheese received PDO status in 1997 and its production is very tightly controlled. It has the typical characteristics of a mountain cheese (not very salty, nutty, elastic paste). The flavor characteristics are in keeping with its provenance: intense, rich, earthy, grassy.

Have this cheese with fresh fruit and dried meats

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