Formai de Mut
Fomai de Mut is produced in the upper Val Brembana in the Bergamo region of northern Italy. The word "Mut" literally means "mountain" in the local dialect, and in this instance refers to the the Alps. Formai de Mut is protected by Italian DOP regulations.
The production of the cheeses takes place in approximately 40 mountain dairies, known as "casere." The best quality cheeses are made in the summer months when the cows are grazing the upland pastures at an elevation of between 4,200 - 8,200ft. During the winter months cows are fed additional rations of corn and silage, all of which are required to have been grown in the same area that the cows graze during the summer.
Made from raw cow's milk, Formai de Mut, like many Alpine style-cheeses, is cooked and pressed, resulting in a dense, closely textured and firm cheese with occasional holes or "eyes."
Rearing cattle has been the main economic staple for well over 500 years in the mountains above the Brembana valley. However, the production of Formai de Mut increased considerably during the1950's when a group of farmers set up a small dairy which they operated in shifts. For years, the dairy processed milk for five months of the year, and it was not until 1988 that the dairy began to produce the cheese all year round.
Cheeses are then matured for at least 45 days before release.
The texture of Fomai de Mut is a firm, dense and smooth, with occasional holes, and is a rich golden yellow color.
Flavors are savory, vegetal and sweet with traces of animals and grass.