The milk production in the Aosta Valley leads to a rich variety of tastes and consistencies. They all come from Alpine pastures, and the Fontina PDO is probably the most famous kind of cheese produced in the region. This product is realised by following ancient gestures and techniques and by using milk coming from only one milking of cow belonging to the Valdôtain breed (pezzata rossa, pezzata nera and castana). A unique tale, which can be told thanks to particular geographical conditions, high-quality raw materials and ancient techniques.
When speaking about Fontina we need to distinguish between the winter production, in which cows eat hay, and the summer production, in which cows live in pastures and, thus, eat various mountain herbs (mountain thyme, gentians, rhododendron, violas and milfoil), whose scents characterise the production of Fontina d’Alpeggio (fontina produced in Alpine pastures).
In addition to the Fontina PDO, dairies and local farms produce other kinds of cheese, both fresh and seasoned: different kinds of Toma, butter, Seras, a tasty kind of ricotta cheese which is obtained after the production of Fontina or Toma, Reblec, a fresh and creamy cheese obtained thanks to the cream that spontaneously appears on the surface, but also goat cheese and other dairy products.
Accessible on request, these farms also own some stores; during the summer some of them also organise visits of the Alpine pastures.
But where to, now?
We have two valleys to suggest.