Food & Wine

Monte Veronese cheese

Valpantena, Valpolicella
Credits Wikipedia

The treasure of Valpantena

Monte Veronese cheese is one of the gastronomic treasures of Valpantena. Its history is rooted in an ancient dairy tradition, which dates back to the thirteenth century. At the time, a group of German settlers called Cimbri, directly from Asiago, settled in the Verona area. Its production is closely linked to those territories, where the Frisona, Brown and Pezzata Rossa cows graze from which the milk for its preparation is obtained.
The processing of Monte Veronese is an art handed down from generation to generation. As regards Monte Veronese PDO whole milk, by coagulating the veal rennet for about 20 minutes, the lumps become the size of grains of rice. The next phase is the heating at about 45°C for about ten minutes, before the curd rests for about half an hour. After the purging phase, which lasts one day, dry salting or brine salting takes place, before maturation which takes place in 40 days. D'Allevo Monte Veronese, worked with partially skimmed milk, is coagulated with lots of calf rennet for about 30 minutes before breaking and the curd heated up to 48° C for about a quarter of an hour. The curd rests for 30 minutes and after salting there is a seasoning that varies from three months to two years.

Distinctive features and variants

Monte Veronese is a semi-cooked cheese and stands out for its balanced taste and its soft but compact consistency. The rind is thin and straw-coloured, while the paste can vary from white to straw-coloured, depending on the degree of maturation. During the maturation process, the cheese develops a more intense and complex flavour.
There are three main variants of Monte Veronese: Whole Milk, Aged D'Allevo and Mezzano. Whole Milk (light green label) is the youngest and is characterized by its softness and sweetness, ideal for accompanying savory pies and polenta. Il Mezzano (blue label) has an intermediate seasoning and has a more decisive taste, excellent to be enjoyed in slices with bread and salami. Finally, D'Allevo Invecchiato (black label) is the most seasoned, with a more compact consistency and a full and slightly spicy flavour, ideal for grating on first courses or to be enjoyed on its own.

Cheese Monte Veronese DOP

Versatility in the kitchen and food pairings

Monte Veronese of Valpantena is an extremely versatile cheese in the kitchen. Thanks to its rich and aromatic flavour, it can be used in many preparations. It is excellent for enriching risottos, melting and stringy in lasagna or baked gnocchi, and gives a touch of elegance and goodness to salads. Its ability to melt perfectly makes it a great choice for preparing gratin dishes or for filling delicious sandwiches.
There are numerous food pairings for Monte Veronese. It can be accompanied by honey, fruit jams or marmalades, which enhance its flavours. The grapes, especially the fresh or dried ones, create a pleasant contrast with its creaminess. Furthermore, structured red wines, such as Valpolicella or Amarone della Valpolicella, go perfectly with the flavor of Monte Veronese.