The mountain butter is one of the most typical specialties of our mountains and is produced in all the circles of the Alps. Its production is rather limited due to the difficulties of transport and conservation and the growing tendency to consume lighter seasonings but remains a product strongly rooted in local tradition. The stylized crosses, the plots and the floral patterns that decorate it reveal the valley of origin. The Mountain Butter is also included by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in the list of Regional Traditional Agri-Food Products.
To make mountain butter, use the cream obtained by surfacing. The cream is separated from milk or whey, leaving the milk to rest for a period of time between 12 and 48 hours. This produces a product with a percentage of 30-40% fat. The next phase, which takes the name of “churning”, involves an inversion of the phases: at 8-10 ° C for about 45 minutes, from the emulsion of fat in the water the cream turns into an emulsion of water in the fat with the consequent appearance of butter grains and release of buttermilk, ie the liquid part. It follows the washing with water of the fat mass to eliminate the buttermilk and the residual ferments, increasing the shelf life of the product. Finally the butter is kneaded, formed and packaged in the appropriate loaves. The mountain butter has a variable shape depending on the molds used, color ranging from white to yellow – depending on the feeding of animals and the acidification of the cream during processing – and hard and dry consistency. The percentage of permitted fat is 82% minimum. With a decidedly more intense and lasting taste than that of industrial butter, the mountain butter is excellent to taste also as a table cheese.
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