Mottarone Toma Cheese
Mottarone Toma Cheese is the cheese typically made in the Mottarone zone and can boast of a prominent position among the local dairy products; it is considered among the best cheeses of the Piemonte Region hill country.
This cheese is produced traditionally, using the method passed down from the Medieval era. It is closely tied to the alpine area and in particular to the mountain pastures that travelers commonly visit during the summer season. Depending on the place and preparation technique, we find toma cheeses to be more or less bold and intense.
Mottarone milk is not pasteurized and is particularly rich in vitamin A. It curdles at 36°C (96.8°F), then is allowed to stand. After curdling it is brought to 42°C (107.6°F), put in molds, and placed in brine for 24 hours. Toma cheese matures for at least 2 to 3 months in the mountain pastures situated under the peak of the Mottarone. The cheese ends up a straw-yellow color. It may be purchased directly from the Cooperative stores (Cooperative) or from the markets that are open Saturday in Armeno and Tuesday morning in Gignese.
For those in the continual pursuit of genuine, natural products, we are known for another dairy offering: the nostrano (home-made), a cheese made with only with milk from the brune alpine (a brown cow; the name literally means ‘brown alps’) and the pezzate rosse (a brown-and-white spotted cow with a red tint; the name literally means ‘red spotted’) of the local farms; they may be purchased at the Living Community Cooperative Environment (Comunità Cooperativa Ambiente Vivo) in Armeno.
In the mountain pastures of the Mottarone they also produce a great ricotta (soft white cheese) and a rich-tasting butter, much like those of times past.