FORMAGGIO DI FOSSA
The most renowned Formaggio di Fossa is the one made in Sogliano the Rubicon, where the cheese is located into pits on the tufa ground, between the summer and late autumn. It is an ancient custom that dates back to around 1400. The humidity, temperature and lack of oxygen where the cheese is stowed, determine in a few months a prodigious fermentation of the product.
After mid-August the pits are uncovered and they shall be cleaned to remove odors and more. In the meantime, you collect the forms of cheese, locked himself in burlap bags, which are brought by farmers, merchants, restaurateurs and ordinary people.
The weight of the bags varies from 10 to 15 Kg. Their weight is still measured in pounds, based on which we calculate the rental price of the pit. On the canvas bag is written with linseed oil and carbon black, and the name of the owner of the cheese that the weight of the forms. Meanwhile, the ditches are lined with reeds and straw vintage. To isolate the pit of the upper part, in contact with the opening, are made of jute bags empty. The opening is closed with a wooden covered above which are placed 20/30 Kg of sand. The pits of Sogliano the Rubicon, are finally opened in late November, on the occasion of the great festival of Fossa cheese.
When the cheese is extracted from the pits, it has a deformed cylindrical shape whose average weight can vary from 0.8 to 1 kg. Crust and pasta are indistinguishable, compact and friable; has a characteristic spicy odor and flavor. The original cheese comes from factories located throughout the territory that transform the raw milk of mainly sheeps and cow, in to selected caciotte and pecorini.
The color ranges from white to pale yellow while the flavor is delicate, almost sweet tasting, and then become more and more spicy and bitter aftertaste; has a peculiar odor reminiscent l'humus the undergrowth.
Fossa cheese contains high amounts of fat and protein predigested, making it one of the most digestible cheese.