Caciotta vaccina al caglio vegetale is an Italian cheese made from cow's milk and produced in Marche
Ingredients: mixed breed cow's milk, artichoke flower and thistle from which the vegetable rennet is obtained. Feeding: extensive grazing, forage, mixtures of cereals and legumes.
Process technology: the stigmas of the flowers are rubbed in a little warm water and left to soak and then everything is slowly filtered into fresh, hot milk. They are left to rest for about 40 minutes. After the breaking of the curd, made by hand, into very small parts, a few minutes are allowed to deposit the bottom of the container. After this, the dough is placed in molds and pressed with the palms of the hands to facilitate the removal of the serum. Salting is done dry and is carried out by placing the forms in salt, turning them every 12 hours for a maximum of 2 days.
Specific materials and equipment used for preparation and conditioning: Tradition requires the use of copper containers in tin plates (according to regulations), which allow a more uniform and gradual heat diffusion, and wood (shelves for ripening) , to promote the development of the microbial flora responsible for the originality of the product. More modern materials and equipment are currently used, complying with the standards.
Description of local processing storage and aging: Processing facilities must ensure hygiene and wholesomeness, and at the same time ensure sufficient activity of the microbial processes responsible for the transformation of milk. The ripening and ripening premises must guarantee the necessary hygiene conditions, together with sufficient temperature, humidity and ventilation conditions. Maturation: 2 to 6 months.
Characteristics of the finished product: it is a cheese with a cylindrical shape, with flat faces and a soft, straw-colored rind. Its paste is compact in texture and has almost no holes. Its flavor and aroma are: "full-bodied" cheese, soft and soft touches of dairy ferments.
Production area: Province of Pesaro and Urbino, in particular, in the territory of Montefeltro.
Notes: Cheese made with vegetable rennet seems to show a higher digestibility than that made with animal rennet. Recent studies have linked this characteristic to an action more driven by plant proteolytic enzymes during the curing phase. The use of vegetable rennet in milk production has been passed down for generations through oral tradition. The plant, flower or thistle artichoke, which produces the vegetable rennet, was called "the efficiency of the grass" - cheese grass, and was used by almost all the shepherds of the Montefeltro hill country.
Peaks Graziella, "The map of taste - Montefeltro II: people, places, food," by Montefeltro Travel Agency, Vadesi graphics, Sant'Angelo in Vado (PU), 2001.
Source: Official Gazette of the Marche Region. Year XXXIII, n.