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Quartirolo Lombardo (Lombard Quartirolo) is a soft table cheese produced from cows' milk. It carries the DOC [Denominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin)] label.
Quartirolo Lombardo was first manufactured in the 10th century. The cheese was produced during a short period at the end of summer, from the milk of cows which had fed on the herbage that had regrown after the third cutting. The local term for the hay from the fourth cutting of the year was "erba quartirola". This gave the cheese its name.
Today, it is produced during the whole year. It has been accepted by the European Economic Community to be registered in the list of DOP products with Reg. Cee n° 1107/96.
Zone of productionEdit
The milk used for the manufacture of Quartirolo Lombardo must come from a zone comprising the territory of the provinces of Brescia, Bergamo, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, and Varese, and the cheese must be produced and aged in that same area.
The Quartirolo has the form of a rectangular parallelepiped. The weight of the loaves lies between 1.5 kg and 3.5 kg (3.3 to 7.7 lb). The rind is thin and soft, rosy-white for the shorter-ripened cheeses and reddish-grey-green for the more mature ones. The paste has a uniform, lightly clotted structure, possibly with small cavities, which is friable but becomes more compact and soft in the course of the aging. The inside color goes from pure white to white with a straw-yellow touch, becoming more intense when the cheese is more mature. The taste is characteristic, slightly sour and aromatic for the shorter-ripened cheese and more aromatic in case of the mature cheese. The fat in dry matter is not lower than 30% for the product obtained from partially skimmed milk (source: art. 3 of the production rules for Quartirolo Lombardo, link to the Italian site below).
Quartirolo is produced from full-cream or partially skimmed cow's milk obtained from one or more milkings. The coagulation of the milk is effected by adding natural calf rennet at an inner temperature of 35-40 °C (95-105 °F) over a 25-minute period. To support the coagulation, it also is allowed to add lactobacteria. The lactobacteria must be collected from the previous processing of the milk in the same dairy in which the cheese is produced. The cutting of the curd is carried out in two steps at different times, based on the degree of acidification of the whey. After the second cutting, the curd lumps have approximately the dimension of a hazelnut. The cheese mass is then mixed with the whey, put into the molds, and heated to 26-28 °C (79-82 °F) for 4 to 24 hours. At this time the cheese is salted, either by treatment with dry salt or in a brine bath. The aging takes place in suitable cells at a temperature of 2-8 °C (36-46 °F) and a relative humidity of 85-90%. The maturation process requires from five to thirty days for the soft cheese. After thirty days the product is sold as "Quartirolo Lombardo maturo". The regulations do not permit any procedure which would modify the rind of the cheese. (source: art. 3/A of the production rules for Quartirolo Lombardo).
Nutrition facts for 100 g (3.5 oz)Edit
(taken from www.quartirolo.com)
Food energy: 297 Cal = 1249 kJ, protein: 18.5 g, total carbohydrate: 0, total fat: 24.5 g, vitamin A: 336 μg, vitamin B2: 220 μg, calcium: 572 mg, magnesium: 21.8 μg.
- Official Gazette [of Italy] #196 (Aug. 21, 1993) - listing the decree of the Italian Prime Minister of May 10, 1993