WHAT IS QUARTIROLO LOMBARDO?
This beautiful autumn cheese is now made year-round in Italy. “Quartirolo” is from “quattro” or “4” in Italian. Farmer’s believed that grass fed to cow’s after the 4th Fall hay cutting was more flavorful. Of course, better milk in turn yielded better cheese. This formaggio is similar to Taleggio in both shape and manufacturing process. However Quartirolo Lombardo’s has no rind and skim milk is used. There are two P.D.O. (name controlled) versions. The soft Quartirolo is aged for less then a month. Being in the Stracchino family of cheeses, this is what Italian mothers start feeding their babies. Equally delicious and more mature, the firmer Quartirolo is aged over 30 days.
WHERE IS QUARTIROLO LOMBARDO MADE?
The name”Lombardo” indicates the area of P.D.O. production – Lombardy. The first producers were all lived in the Val Sassina valley. Located in the Alps of northern Italy, this is one of the few areas where transhumance is still practiced. A nomadic pastoral art, it involves taking herds of cows each summer to graze in higher altitude, summer pastures. Of course, the appeal of this today to younger Italian shepherds (cell service is horrible up there) has made this way of life more difficult to preserve.
WILL QUARTIROLO LOMBARDO CHEESE SOON HAVE TO BE EXPORTED TO ITALY?
Lombardy is one of the wealthiest administrative regions in Italy. In late 2017 over 90% of local voters passed a referendum giving them much greater autonomy. Much like Catalan started several years ago, talk of an eventual secession have begun. Most of the impetus behind this was to lower the tax burden for Lombardy. While negotiations between Lombardy and Rome started in 2018, these can easily go on for decades.
WHAT CAN I PAIR WITH QUARTIROLO LOMBARDO?
Nebbiolo and Barbera red wines work well. Quartirolo is popular as a table cheese or in salads. In light of Lombardy’s independence debate, get a little rebellious yourself! For cheese flights, try a nice Basque sheep’s milk cheese like Ossaau Iraty and a Spanish Catalan goat’s milk Garrotxa.