Wine Dharma

DharMag January 2020 Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP cheese: all you need to know about a legendary cheese

Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP cheese guide, flavor, scents history Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP cheese, (pit matured cheese), is not only one of the oldest and most delicious products of the Romagna hills, but a real jewel of the Italian culinary tradition. Its long and painstaking processing is based on ancient rhythms, where the passing of the seasons is important for the maturation of the cheese. The birthplace of Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP cheese is Sogliano al Rubicone and the production area coincides with Forlì-Cesena, Rimini and Talamello, (Marche region), which gives a slightly less intense and more delicate cheese.

The main ingredient is milk. Sheep, cow or mixed milk must be of the highest quality and come from the farms of the hills of Marche and Romagna. Its particularity is not the production itself, quite classic, but the aging, which takes place in pits dug into the tuff soil of Sogliano.

Organoleptic characteristics of the Fossa cheese

Pit Matured cheese guide, Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP cheese It is a semi-hard cheese, with a cylindrical and irregular shape, due to the weight of the other cheeses that are arranged one above the other. The weight varies from 800 grams to two kilos. The rind is very particular because of the yellow, green and white spots of mold. The interior is crumbly, characterized by medium-sized flakes and lots of holes. Once you have tasted this cheese, you cannot forget it, not so much for its appearance as for its intense, slightly bitter, spicy flavor, characterized by crazy aromas. It’s like to take a walk in a wood: leaves, mushrooms, truffles, almonds. It’s one of the most incredible sensory journeys a cheese lover can do!

Ageing: the ritual of the pits

Pits for making Sogliano cheese, how is made Fossa Pit cheese In August the cheese is put into the pits, where it must rest for 90 days, then on the day of Santa Caterina, 25 April, the pits are opened again and in Sogliano there is a big party. The last two Sundays of November and the first of December there is the Fossa di Sogliano cheese Festival, with tastings and visits: the whole village takes part, in honor of past times when this ritual was linked to survival itself.

Why Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano DOP cheese age in the pits?

The best Italian cheeses, Pit cheese from Sogliano DOP, fossa cheese The typical pits are three meters deep and have the shape of a flask. Inside they are covered with straw and the cheeses, after being placed in bags, are laid one on top of the other. It is said that the ritual of putting cheeses into the pits, was born during the Middle Ages, others trace it back to the war between Charles VIII of France and Ferdinand of Naples. Folklore aside, the reason was very simple: to protect a precious and nutrient-rich product from the ravages of pirates and bandits and the heat of the summer too.

Which wine to pair with Fossa di Sogliano pit cheese?

Let’s choose a sweet and full-bodied wine, full of hints of dried fruit, such as an Albana passito, a Picolit, a Ramandolo, a Malvasia Delle Lipari or a late harvest Gewurztraminer. Even better if the wine has been attacked by botrytis to exploit the synergies between the “moldy” flavors present in both.

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