Milk: Cow or mixed
Synonyms: Formaggella Bernarda or Bernarde
Definition: It is a semi-cooked, fresh or briefly aged cheese with a soft consistency .
Characteristics: Bernardo is cylindrical in shape, with a diameter of 15 centimetres and border of 5 centimetres, ranging in weight from 0.5 to 1 kilogram. It is yellow-reddish in colour.
Area of production: Typical of the province of Bergamo and in particular of the Clusone area, Bernardo is a cheese produced in the mountain pastures during the summer.
Technique of production: Bernarde formaggelle are produced using full-fat milk left to rest for 3-4 hours. They used to add and some still do, 10% goat’s milk, which gave this soft cheese its characteristic flavour and aroma. Heated to 34-45°C, coagulation takes about 45 minutes. The milk is heated, depending on the place of production, using wood fires, gas or even steam boilers.
When coagulation is complete the curds are turned using the spannarola (a tool with holes in it), left to rest for 5 minutes and then worked with the spino or metal spike until coarse lumps are formed, the size of hazelnuts, at a constant temperature. Once this operation has been completed the curds are heated for 5-6 minutes to 35-40°C and left to rest for around 10 minutes. The curds are cut into pieces and then transferred to the special wooden forms covered by a cloth. After having turned the cheeses a few times, they are put into a fairly damp room at a temperature of 10-15°C. Dry salting starts after three days, salting each side of the cheese 3-4 times every 24-48 hours. Ageing takes 15-20 days.
Reference: Alpinet Gheep
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