Formajo Inbriago, the cheese matured into wine

11_55 IMBRIAGO AAccording to legend, during their retreat to the Piave, following the defeat of Caporetto, the country farmers from the left bank of the Piave river in the province of Treviso decided to bury the cheese forms left at home to mature under some marcs from wine production, considered a waste material and therefore of little interest, in an attempt to hide their meagre food rations from the ravenous Austro-Hungarian troops. The purpose of this “treatment” was merely to save them from being ransacked by the occupying troops and the farmers would never have dreamt that the results would be not only acceptable but indeed so unique and interesting that this procedure would henceforth be adopted for certain kinds of mature cheese, becoming one of the most refined and renowned maturation techniques. The rind actually assumes a violet hue, thanks to the marcs in which it is immersed, the dough takes on a special softness and its colour is somewhere between white and straw yellow, its aromatic taste is a mixture of spicy and fruity. Obviously, best results are only obtained if the cheese undergoing maturation is of top quality, already mature and completely free from imperfections. In order to gain the best possible aroma and taste the forms must be completely covered in wine and soft marcs and the soaking time varies according to the maturation time of each cheese.

Necessity and the pragmatism of the country farmer led to the discovery of one of the most typical and refined maturation techniques, which has now become a symbol of the tradition and quality of dairy products from the Treviso area. This technique is so closely linked to the local territory that it could not exclude one of the best known wine products: the Glera grape variety, the main one used to produce Prosecco wine. So this excellent wine from the hills of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano is used in the maturation process, giving the cheese a sophisticated aroma, colours and a delicate aromatic taste which have brought it just as much appreciation as the famous wine.

Formajo Inbriago is a table cheese and its special characteristic is that following a long period of maturation it is placed directly into red wine or into Glera wine in the case of “white” maturation. This procedure gives the rind its typical red wine colour, or a lovely amber hue if Glera wine is used. The distinctive aromas of the wine are absorbed by the cheese and its dough softens while remaining compact with sparse small holes. Compact, soft straw white to yellow dough with sprinkling of holes, rough rind of a golden or violet colour varying according to the wine or marcs used in maturation, Formajo Inbriago has a pronounced and aromatic flavour, slightly spicy but pleasant.

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