For brothers Egidio and Mario Fiandino butter and cheese production is a matter of family tradition. Their forefather, Stephano Fiandino, founded what was to become Fattorie Fiandino at the turn of the 18th century when he moved to the Valle Maira in Piedmont from Milan to raise sheep and make cheese. In the 1920’s, the brother’s grandfather, Magno, purchased the estate where the current Fattorie Fiandino is located from the Earls Grimaldi del Poggetto. Due to the respect that Egidio and Mario have toward their family history, the culture of Piedmont and the ecology of the Valle Maira, Fattorie Fiandino only uses traditional techniques in the production of butter and cheese. They stay away from much of the technology used in industrial production of dairy products. However, Fattorie Fiandino has also embraced some new technologies. They get about 1/3 of their power from solar panels installed in 2005. Frumage Baladin is the embodiment of the food culture of the Valle Maira. It is a raw milk cheese that showcases the microclimate of the valley. The cheese is also washed four or five times during its aging in both malt and Baladin, a beer brewed only in this part of Italy by microbreweries.* Finally, the rennet used is from Cynara cardunculus, a flower in the thistle family.
The resulting cheese has a soft, unctuous texture under its edible brown rind. While its aroma is of beer, the flavor is delicate and mild with notes of coffee and cocoa. Barley malts come at the end as an after-flavor.
This cheese pairs very well with dark, malty beers such as Stout.