On the slopes of Mt. Mongioie, in Italy, there is a grazing area known as Alpe Raschera. The climate is quite rainy, but mild, thanks to the closeness of the sea. As a result, the pastures are lush and rich, with a variety of grasses and herbs, thus lending the milk a particular taste and scent unique to this area.
Raschera is an unusual shape-- local tradition says that they had transportation problems from the "selle" (their underground aging cells). Mules were the main local transport, so it was more stable to stack square shapes on their backs rather than round.
By the 1970's, the production of this artisanal jewel was in serious danger of ceasing forever. Much of the younger rural workforce were leaving the countryside for jobs in the cities. Thanks to a few people from the heart of the summer production of Raschera, Frabosa Soprana, this cheese was kept alive. Raschera rose in production and obtained its DO (Denomination of Origin). Today it is produced throughout Cuneo.
Raschera can be found both square and round in shape. The square version is generally produced in the mountains while the round version is more likely from the plains. Generally, Italians feel that the square version is tastier. Raschera is a cheese which is matured for at least one month. It has a raw, pressed and semi-hard paste. It has a fine and delicate flavor, slightly spicy and salty if well matured. The texture is consistent, elastic, with small irregular holes dotted throughout the ivory colored cheese. The rind can be reddish (occasionally with a yellowish hue) due to the unique molds from their "selles." Raschera is a very good table cheese and delicious in salads, it also melts well in risottos and casseroles.
- Made from unpasteurized cow's milk; aged for 60 days.
- Photo depicts whole 18 lb. form of cheese.
- We cut and wrap this item by hand.