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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

A Bitto taste.

Vertical Bitto cheeses



A couple of days ago my friend Rita sent  an email asking if I wanted to attend a wine tasting near Terni. Wines  from Valtellina  in northern Italy combined with a Vertical Cheese tasting.  Si grazie , of course, I said to her!!

What is  a vertical cheese tasting , you might ask? Well, apparently it’s the opportunity to taste the same cheese but from different vintages. The expression is normally used for wines.  We were going to be tasting Bitto alpine cheese. Bitto  is produced in the Valli del Bitto in Lombardy, northern Italy at an altitude ranging from 1400 to 2300 meters . The main Characteristics are that the makers must start making the cheese no longer than 20 minutes after milking the animals ! Because of this time limit the cheese is made in the field. Bitto can also be left to age longer than any other cheese, even longer than the famous  Parmigiano Reggiano .  A blend of 70%  cow’s milk and 30% goat’s . The animals graze only on the grass in the valleys  .No additives, preservatives or yeast  are allowed in the cheese production .  The method has been handed down from the Celts and the same rules for making the cheese are strictly followed today.

But back to my vertical tasting. One type of cheese , 5 different years: 2011/2010/2009/2003 , plus the very rare and very expensive  2001. Definitely a unique experience! If you consider that  there are just 20 whole wheels of Bitto cheese from 2001 in the world !!!
Mamma mia , when I tasted that one, I swear, I had goose bumps! The wine chosen to pair the Bitto 2001 was a 5 Star Sfursat Valtellina 2007. In short , a very sophisticated evening !!
But what is the point of the story and how come you  can  see  the picture of the  5 pieces of cheese? The reason is that I have been so good . I wanted Nick to also participate in this experience. So under the astonished eyes of the people who were close to me during the tasting, I only ate  half of each piece of cheese and stuck the other half in my pocket.  It was very hard to do ,believe me and even harder to not waver from my decision on the way home. I’ll tell you what…..the boy owes me BIG TIME, even a month of cappuccino’s in bed is not going to be enough !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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