Morlacco del Grappa, the ‘poor man’s cheese’

11_04 MORLACCO GRAPPA AMorlacco is the most traditional and symbolic product of the mountain pastures around Mount Grappa and its long history, as mentioned in writings dating from the end of the fourteen hundreds, tells not only of dairy techniques but also of the migration of peoples. A population of woodcutters and charcoal burners, originally from the Caspian Sea region arrived on Mount Grappa from the ancient Baltic region of Mordacchia, equivalent to the modern Dalmatia, during the time of the Serenissima Republic of Venice. The traditions they brought with them gradually became mixed with the peculiarities and traditions of the lands around Mount Grappa to create singular and unique results, such as the term ‘Morlacco’, otherwise known as the Morlach or Burlach, which referred to a breed of cow, the Burlina, mainly bred on the Grappa mountains. The Morlacchi and their descendents produced Morlacco using skimmed milk, because butter, which they sold in the lowlands, was their main source of direct income. Morlacco could therefore be considered a “subproduct” of butter, which led to it being nicknamed “Formajo dei Poareti” or Poor Man’s Cheese.

Nowadays, following the rediscovery of Morlacco and other typical products abandoned on the crest of the economic boom and subsequent industrial growth, production is also carried out in the lowland dairies, often using raw milk which enhances its simple and unique flavours.

Morlacco del Grappa is a typical table cheese from the Mount Grappa area, produced with whole cow’s milk. Its intense aroma makes it a key element in the best gastronomic tradition of the Pedemontana region of Grappa and the entire Treviso area. Soft white dough with scattering of holes, elastic rind with typical dotted pattern on the faces and lined on the side, its delicate aromatic flavour becomes more intense with maturation.

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