The "Bitto cheese" is a mixture of cow and goat milk, symbol of the dairy production of Lombardia region.
It has a long tradition and an extraordinary attitude for aging and it is named from the stream Bitto, that flows into the Adda river close to the town of Morbegno .
The cheese is produced in the valleys Gerola and Albaredo, at an altitude of 1400 to 2000 meters. The diarymen are committed to maintain a range of traditional practices that increase the quality of the cheese, as well as to play a vital role in the preservation of the environment and biodiversity in the Alps.
First, practice the pasture turnato : within three months of pasture , the herd is led through a journey in stages , ranging from the lowest to the highest. Along the way , the traditional "calècc" - age-old stone buildings - act as cabin itinerant work (always by hand) , so that the milk does not have to travel, if not for a few meters , and can be worked on before his calor natural scattering. Another practice , promoted by the manufacturers of Bitto , is the pasturing , along with the cattle herd , some heads of goat Orobica . The milk of these animals comes to 10-20% in the production of Bitto and gives it a special aroma and persistence.
To ensure maximum control of the health conditions of the livestock , farmers milk by hand only. The salting of the cheese is dry ; this will form a crust more delicate, ensuring a better maturation . It is also strictly forbiddento use some supplements in cattle feed and to use additives or selected yeasts in cheese production.
At maturation the taste is sweet , delicate and tends to become more intense and lively with aging. In the young stages is a delicious and classic cheese cutting . After a year of seasoning, increases its nobility , becomes excellent product to accompany to the best food and the best Valtellina's Wines.
The dairymen are gathered in a Manufacturers Association called "Associazione produttori valle del Bitto"