Montébore is a small town in the Curone Valley, on the border between the Grue and Borbera valleys. Its fame comes from a cheese that bears its name and has a long history, the only cheese served during the extravagant celebrations of the wedding between Isabella of Aragon, the daughter of Alfonso, and Gian Galeazzo Sforza, the son of the Duke of Milan, at the end of the 15th century. Made from raw milk—75% cow’s, 25% sheep’s—Montébore can be eaten fresh, semi-aged (15 days) or aged, when it is usually grated. Its unique wedding-cake shape, perhaps inspired by an old tower on the town’s castle, is formed by placing three or more robiola-type cheeses of decreasing size on top of each other.
Montébore cheese production takes place throughout the year following the lactation cycles of the animals.
After the Second World War, people deserted the countryside around Tortona for the cities and Montébore production began to decline. It stopped entirely when the last producer, Carolina Bracco, closed her business 30 years ago. Then, in 1999, a young man, Roberto Grattone, tracked her down. The last keeper of the ancient cheesemaking secrets taught Roberto how to make Montébore and Slow Food started the Presidium to protect and promote the cheese.
Municipalities in the Curone and Borbera Valleys, Alessandria Province
Mongiardino Ligure (Al)
località Valle, 1
tel. +39 0143 94131-340 4501610
Slow Food Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Tel. +39 0143 94131
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Tel. +39 335 5734472