…se la sa minga de vaca. [Italian: La bocca non è mai stanca finchè non sa di vacca.]
Literally, it translates to ‘the mouth is never tired until it tastes cow’, which goes to say that the meal isn’t over until you eat cheese. Just last Saturday we had a great time with other formaggio devotees at the Musica & Formaggi dinner held in Ornica. The event’s purpose is not restricted to introducing locally produced cheese per se, but is a collaborative effort to promote culture and tradition in Val Brembana.
This felt so much like those farm-to-table gatherings where the focus is on getting to know your food and the people directly behind it. The food in question of course was cheese, and prior to the meal local producers gave a presentation of the various cow’s milk types made in this part of the Orobic Alps. Agri, Bitto, Branzi, Formai de Mut, Mascherpa and Strachitunt were turned into simple fare from aperitivo to dessert. We sat at communal dining tables – just make yourself at home – decked out in charming floral tablecloths and place settings.
Clockwise beginning from top left: a first plate of crespelle (like crepes) with strachitunt and paruk (wild spinach); second plate of thinly sliced roast pork over a sauce of melted branzi and mushrooms; dessert – a slice of mascherpa torte (like ricotta cheese tart); and a plate of melted formai de mut (this came as a third plate before dessert). No photos of the aperitivo (bitto and mixed fruit) and antipasto (salad greens with agri). It doesn’t look like much, but including bottles of local wine, bread, second helpings and yet more cheese, there was a lot to digest. On top of all that, the same people who gave presentations earlier came around at the end with more tastings of their excellent products. Total cost for two: 60€.