The maturing of Montasio dop cheese
The production of Montasio PDO cheese, and in particular the maturing process, must comply with extremely strict specifications. The Consorzio Produttori Formaggio Montasio (Montasio Cheese Producers’ Consortium ) plays a fundamental role in monitoring compliance with the rules that protect the consumer.
The European Union specification states:
At the request of all producers, whether or not they are members, the Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Montasio (Consortium for the Protection of ‘Montasio’ PDO cheese) may hot-brand the designation’s logo on the heel of the cheese if it is more than 100 days old.
The Azienda Agricola La Sisile – Latteria Biologica Friulana (Friulian Organic Dairy) ages its cheeses in the rooms made available by the consortium of which it is a member.
Maturing takes place at temperatures no lower than 8 °C for the first 30 days and higher for the following period. On the tenth day of maturing, ‘Montasio’ PDO cheese must have a maximum moisture content of 42,84 %.
The specification sets out separate designations based on the length of the maturing process.
Montasio cheese is intended for consumption after a minimum maturation period of 60 days. […] It may be pre-packaged, pre-portioned, etc., after a minimum maturing period of 60 days.
Montasio cheese may be marketed under the designation ‘fresco’ when it has matured for a minimum of 60 days, ‘mezzano’ when it has matured for a minimum of 120 days, ‘stagionato’ when it has matured for a minimum of 10 months and ‘stravecchio’ when it has matured for a minimum of 18 months.
In this video Graziano Zanello explains how the goal is a long aging of Montasio stravecchio. “Montasio is like a good wine, it gets better with time.”