Raw milk cheese is a product of great quality, expression of a territory, made in respect of nature, animals and consumers. It is a product that can not lie, because it is the expression of the natural process of milk transformation. Quality and defects are exalted in the same way: raw milk doesn’t lie. Needless to say that in the production processes that look for homologation and profit, a raw milk cheese is a risk. This is why finding a raw milk cheese has become a rarity.
In this small introduction we have identified 5 key words to understand what is raw milk cheese: quality, territory, respect, truth and rarity.
The raw milk cheese is obtained with a milk that does not undergo any pasteurization or sterilization process. Its temperature in production never exceeds 40 °.
Raw milk cheese means territory and quality
Why would this productive choice represent the territory and the quality? Very simple, when the animals graze they eat the wild herbs that grow in their territory. These herbs naturally change from one territory to another. To give an example, two sheep of the same breed, of the same age and with the same state of health, will produce a different milk.
The sheep that grazes in a territory rich in shrubs and aromatic plants will produce a more intense and rich milk, while the one that grazes a place rich in flowers and grass will produce a milk sweeter and with a herbaceous flavor. With pasteurization, however, their milk will be identical and consequently their cheese.
The choice of raw milk is used to produce a cheese that best expresses the characteristics of a territory.
And what does quality have to do with it? This is also a simple answer. The thermal sterilization and pasteurization processes of milk bring everything to a standard level. This implies that the work of the shepherds and the nurturing of the sheep will not be of great importance.
The choice of raw milk, on the other hand, obliges the producer to pay attention to the feeding of the animals and a meticulousness that becomes necessary. In fact, raw milk is capable of enhancing strengths and weaknesses. The role of shepherds and cheesemakers is therefore delicate and responsible: to minimize the possibility of defects and try to do everything possible to have a milk of excellent quality.
Raw milk cheese means respect, truth and rarity
Truth and respect go hand in hand. Respect for animals that, to produce high quality milk, must have a very healthy and peaceful lifestyle. Happy sheep and goats will produce much better milk than stressed animals. And of course to produce good milk they will have to eat well. Respect is also towards biodiversity. In fact, raw milk cheese is alive. It is rich in “good” bacteria that give an excellent taste to cheese and that are good for man.
To better understand, the process of sterilization and pasteurization serves to eliminate pathogenic bacteria, but in this way also those that bring benefits are eliminated.
In practice it is like setting fire to a flowery meadow just because among a thousand flowers has been born a harmful seedling. It is certainly a comfortable solution, but not the only one. Attention and scrupulousness, respect, spirit of observation and patience are needed. It is here that the truth comes into play. A raw milk cheese never lies. And this is called respect towards the final consumer. If you work well, the result will be excellent. If you do not work well, the result can be disastrous.
The consumer knows that if he is eating a very good raw milk cheese, behind it there is a very important work of care and attention, which is done also in his interest. Naturally, the choice of producing raw milk cheeses is a choice of life. It is certainly easier to produce milk in large quantities and of mediocre quality knowing that in the end it will be subjected to a process that will make it standard.
The philosophy of Podere il Casale, the philosophy from which everything started, is to know what it is and how it is produced what we eat. So we choosed to produce raw milk cheeses. This choice certainly leads to many sacrifices and a more meticulous work, that’s why finding raw milk cheeses is very difficult and makes this product a rarity.