Calabria has a long tradition in sheep farming and cattle breeding, from which such recognized and appreciated cheeses as Caciocavallo, Pecorino Silano, fresh Ricotta prepared with sheep's and goat's milk, Giuncata silana, Mozzarella silana, and many others more are produced.
BioSila is at the end of a winding road that climbs to the plateau of Sila, at 500 meters above sea level. It is the first dairy company in Calabria which made the choice of organic farming. It was established more than 60 years ago by the Abbruzzese family, who started the business of pasturing sheep and goats and producing its first cheeses. The company is now run by founders’ sons, who over time have increased amounts and types of cheeses, and added catlle breeding, too.
The dairy produces 30 types of cheese, from fresh to semi-mature to mature products, realized with cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk. It has followed organic methods since 1996, and covers an area of 200 hectares, in the Sila National Park. It boasts the ICEA certification, guaranteed by AIAB, it is closed-loop and in order to feed livestock it uses only products realized by the company itself.
'Caciocavallo Biosila' reminds flavours of past time. It is a fresh or semi-mature spun paste cheese, typical of the land of Sila. It is produced with 100% organic cow’s milk, coming from cows raised in the wild. ‘Ricotta mista ovicaprina’ is a delicate fresh cheese with 80% sheep's milk. There is also the dry version, more consistent and salted.
'Mozzarella di mucca’, prepared with cow’s milk, is white, shiny, without rind, with spun and soft paste, characterized by the pleasantly fibrous, but soft consistency; 'Provola' is ancient product of Sila: it is characterized by a spherical slightly flattened shape, aromatic, delicate and basically sweet flavour, when the cheese is young, and becomes spicy, when it is mature. In cooking it becomes stringy or can be eaten fresh in slices, at end of the meal.
‘Caciotta’ is produced in different versions, according to the origin of the milk: from the version prepared with sheep’s milk, flavoured with red pepper, to caciotta with three types of milk, with different times of maturation.
'Giuncata Silana' is a specialty. In the past it was prepared in wicker baskets, the so-called ‘giunchi’, in Italian, from which its name comes. This cheese is low-fat, creamy, with 60% goat’s milk.
The average maturation of fresh or semi-mature cheeses is measured in days: at least 60 days are necessary. And the times become longer, depending on the type, for mature cheeses; they range from 6 to 8 or 12 months, up to 18-24 months for ‘Pecorino Riserva BioSila', produced in January with the milk of animals in first lactation, therefore fatter and richer in proteins.