Heritage Bitto Lombardy
The historic nucleus of Bitto production is in the valleys of the Bitto River, the Gerola and the Albaredo. The cheesemakers who work in the mountain dairies, located at altitudes between 1,400 and 2,000 meters, have preserved traditional practices that exalt the quality of the cheese and play a fundamental role in preserving the Alpine environment and biodiversity. The pasture is “turned,” as the herd of cows is led in stages from the lowest station to the highest. The milk is often processed directly in the meadows, in “calécc”, ancient stone constructions that dot the mountain slopes. Orobica goats are also taken up for summer pasturing and Bitto cheese is made with 10 to 20% goat’s milk, which confers an aromaticity and persistence.
Produced during the summer months only; minimum aging specified in the Presidium protocol is 12 months, which may be extended for as long as 10 years for some exceptional cheese.
The Presidium was founded to promote cheeses produced in mountain dairies within the historic area. The cheesemakers have joined in a consortium, and they age and market the cheeses collectively. They follow strict rules, using no fodder, silage or dietary supplements and no starters during the cheesemaking process. Aged Bitto is a truly extraordinary cheese, and after six or seven years of aging, sometimes even more, it becomes a rare delight, to be savored on its own.
Albaredo and Gerola valleys and neighboring Alpine meadows, Sondrio Province
Consorzio Salvaguardia Bitto storico
Gerola Alta (So)
via Nazionale, 31
tel. +39 0342 690081-334 3325366
Slow Food Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Tel. +39 0342 635665 - 334 3325366
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
tel. +39 348 6701642