Raviggiolo - prodotti tipici
Raviggiolo – a recognised Slow Food and Typical Product of the Upper Tuscan-Romagna Apennines – caresses your palate: a sublime yet simple fresh cheese made from raw milk, that is slightly sour but light, white and smooth. It should be eaten fresh.
This cheese is produced between October and March in homes and smallholdings, and therefore production is limited. It is made by adding rennet to warm, cow or sheep’s milk (certain producers add small amounts of goat’s milk to strengthen the flavour). After about an hour, the curd is placed on plastic or wicker mats or on fern-leaves without breaking it and the whey is left to drain off overnight. In the morning, it is lightly salted and the next day it is ready, with its typical fragrant and buttery taste. It is lasts only a few days in the fridge and must be bought directly from the area where it is produced, i.e. an area limited to the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines, between the valleys of Savio and Tramazzo in Romagna and the Sieve and the Tiber valleys in Tuscany.
To appreciate its quality fully, you should eat this cheese fresh, perhaps as a snack between meals. Remove from the fridge a couple of hours before serving. It is ideal with fried polenta. It should be combined with a light, mildly sparkling white wine.
Pellegrino Artusi, in his celebrated volume "La Scienza in cucina e l'Arte del mangiar bene" (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Fine dining) (1891) mentions Raveggiolo cheese as an ingredient for the stuffing of the typical Romagna Cappelletti, while Manzoni, who loved this cheese, had Renzo eating it on his return from his misadventures in Milan.
According to historical records, it can be traced back to 1500 when some raviggioli - even then considered a delicacy - were taken as a gift to Pope Leo X. After centuries of neglect, Raviggiolo now appears on the menus of top chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants thanks to the breeders and producers working in the Apennines.