Affumicacio, a smoked cheese with a sweet note

36 affumicacio s 2The most famous is probably the “Raucherkase” from Alto Adige, well-known even for being seasoned with the most popular Alto Adige speciality, the Speck. It reflects the legacy of a skilful tradition based on long experience: the smoking process, together with drying and salting, used to be the best method of food preservation in the past, especially for meats, but it was often used for other foods which could also be improved by this process. It was a procedure, which, above all, had the added advantage of not being particularly expensive and was therefore even more readily adopted, despite not being a simple procedure to carry out. The choice of the most suitable type of wood or grass to burn, the length of smoking time needed and the best point during maturation to carry it out make smoking no longer a mere preservation technique but a method of refinement which gives the product certain special characteristics which are both unique and pleasurable. Smoked cheese, in addition to acquiring a distinctive long-lasting aroma, has its taste enhanced and intensified by the sweet notes from the smoking process making it a delicacy which is hard to put into words.

Affumicacio is an intense straw yellow cheese, compact, with small evenly spaced holes. The rind is smooth, thin, regular and elastic and becomes thicker with maturation. The flavour is full, slightly sweet with smoked notes, tending towards spicy.

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