Fiera del Plaisentif

15210118_18d024b7a2_mThe next time you find yourself admiring a display of viola flowers, think to the cows that graze contentedly on these dainty blooms. Affectionately known as “the cheese of the violas”, Plaisentif is a raw, full fat, cow’s milk cheese that is produced during June when lush alpine pastures burst into color with violas. It is only in this period that the milk possesses a unique taste that hints of floral notes with an essence of nature.
Photo credit: Viola! by Steve Cavrich, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Plaisentif

The restrictions to producing Plaisentif (only when the violas are in bloom) means that this cheese belongs to a niche market and is bound by certain particularities. The rounds must be aged for a minumum of 80 days – any amount less than that disqualifies it as Plaisentif. Authenticity is assured only if it has the “P” and flower logo branded on the top, and the mass sale of cheese to the public occurs only during the Plaisentif fair which takes place on the 3rd Sunday in September in Perosa Argentina.

Fiera del Plaisentif

Not knowing who does the best, or if we should seek out a producer in particular, we ended up at the display stand of Stefano Aglì. There was a very nice lady who gave us a taste of her Plaisentif and informed us that the higher the cows graze, the better. On average, the rounds are aged for 90 days, and the first thing that came to mind was something definitely floral going on in the overall taste, but in a very delicate way. The texture is semi-hard, with a yellowish hue. We picked up a quarter round for just under 7€.

Gofri

The Plaisentif fair is a fun event to bring the whole family to (doggies too!) as it includes a parade and contest of the best-decorated carriole (wheelbarrows), medieval characters going about, and waffle-like gofri for purchase in the main square. I made a brief clip of that day and in the beginning there is a foot-powered mill grinder that looks like too much fun!

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10 thoughts on “Fiera del Plaisentif

  1. Marla

    Also if you hike up to Rifugio Selleries, you can see on of the producers, the Agu family who have their cows up there all summer. Have polenta and sample some of their plasientif at the wonderful rifugio. They serve that cheese till they run out for the season. It’s a beautiful setting and view of our Val Chisone.

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    1. Rowena Post author

      I did come across info on the net for the Sentiero del Plaisentif, and if I remember correctly, the trail covers an impressive area of Val Chisone. This is something that we wouldn’t mind looking into, but it will certainly have to be for more than an overnight stay! Let’s see if I can find that pdf file….ecco qua! Sentiero del Plaisentif [pdf]

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  2. Marla

    And were are only 15 minutes away from Perosa Argentina, so sorry you didn’t give us a holler. You drove right past our turnoff. We look down into Perosa Argentina from our house. That is part of our “view”.

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    1. Rowena Post author

      We saw your B&B sign on the road! The fair was a rather last-minute idea as we wanted to go through Cuneo and connect to the Galleria del Colle di Tenda into France. The Plaisentif fair caught my eye and from there we had a starting point. I half expected to see you there, but not to worry — we intend to attend next year if we can make it!

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