ITALIA

Gourmande

   Where food & wine meet culture and lifestyle

LANDFARE FLAVOURS: FOSSA CHEESE

Formaggi

It was in 1486 when Alfonso of Aragon, defeated by the French, had a break with his troops in the Romagnan countryside. Exhausted and, above all, hungry, the soldiers started to plunder the neighbouring farmers, who, in order to defend their food- provision storages, cheese included,  hid them in some pits dug the ground. Once the army left and the incursions ended, the farmers unearthed their treasures and found out the cheese had become sublime, changing both taste and colour.  This is the legend they tell in the sacred places where one of the Italian gastronomic symbols, the fossa (pit – TN) cheese, is produced.

A cheese born from a very ancient procedure of maturing inside big pits dug in sandstone and sulphorous rocks. Excellent if tasted alone, or to prepare first and second dishes, for instance passatelli, ravioli, carpaccio or rib of beef. As a dessert, it can be either served with honey, jams and Romagnan savor, or paired with vin santo and red wines.

In order to find it according to tradition, you should travel between Romagna and Marche, where all the steps, from the preparation to the dipping, are strictly followed. Take for instance Talamello, an old Montefeltro-Marches village,  which, in November, dedicates a special event to this cheese: the Ambra of Talamello fossa cheese fair (Sunday 11th and Sunday 18th November). The event was “baptized” this way by the poet Tonino Guerr. Every year the fair is twinned with a typical product of Italy: themed menus, tastings and gastronomic stands where you can directly buy from the producers.

 

At the restaurant…

In order to taste fossa cheese in its many varieties at the table, one of the best local kitchens is the Locanda dell’Ambra (piazza Garibaldi 28, Talamello, tel. 0541920902, www.lalocandadellambra.com), a family owned old tavern in the centre of Talamello, where the menu is based on typical local products and, of course, on fossa cheese: from flan to  squacquerone, from fossa cream and  fondue to ravioli with trevisan chicory and fossa cheese. 

 

 

Shopping…

In the centre of  Talamello, L’Antica Bottega  (piazza Garibaldi 11, tel. 3391330635) offers typical local   food: besides  the Ambra of Talamello you can also find cured meats, jams and sauces.

Opening time: 8-12.30 from Mont to Sun. -  No credit cards 

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