La Casearia is a creamery and aging facility in the Veneto region of Italy. The history of the company dates back to the early 1900s, when Ernesto Carpenedo began working as a “casoin” (a word in local dialect for a cheesemonger) in a shop in the village of Preganziol. Ernesto eventually founded his own company, which is today run by his son Antonio and his grandsons Ernesto and Alessandro, who have over thirty years of experience in the dairy-cheese sector. Antonio has been devoting his attention to affinage since 1976, the year that he began steeping his first rounds of cheese in wine, giving birth to La Casearia’s signature Ubriaco (which translates into “drunken”).
Carnia Altobut is produced in the Carnia area in the heart of Friuli Venezia Giulia, a hand-shaped region whose palm is the valley furrowed by the Tagliamento river, and whose fingers are the smaller valleys dug out by its tributaries. One such valley, the But valley, is best known for its skiing, its spa towns, and this local mountain cheese. Produced daily using both morning and evening milk, Carnia Altobut is a hard cooked, pressed cheese that is brined and then sent to Casearia Carpenedo to age from two months to one year. Two-month-aged versions, exported to the U.S. by Casearia Carpenedo, are known as ‘Fresco.’
With a compact and elastic texture exhibiting holes of various sizes, the paste of Carnia Altobut Fresco is ivory or light yellow in color. Taste is pleasant and typical of an Alpine cheese, with slight aromas of mountain flowers.
Pair it with a full-bodied red wine, a chestnut honey or spicy mustard.