Quartirolo Lombardo is a PDO designation cheese produced in Lombardy, named after the grass on which the dairy cows graze in late summer, which gives it its unique flavour.
The Quartirolo Cheese production Quartirolo Lombardo is one of several Italian cheeses granted PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin). It is produced in the areas shaped by the Po river, which include Lodi, Milan, Pavia and Cremona, as well as in the Pre-Alpine valleys of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Lecco and Varese. It was here several centuries prior, amongst the grand bedrock at the foot of Mount Resegone, that Quartirolo cheese was born. Nowadays, it is only in its birthplace that 18 producers, 11 cheese aging experts and members of the Lombardy Quartirolo Consortium are allowed to produce the cheese. Limiting the production of Quartirolo cheese allows it to be protected against counterfeit labelling, while ensuring its production methods and unique characteristics are preserved. This was the motivation for the Consortium’s founding in 1990. The name Quartirolo comes from the name of the grass quartirola upon which the cows who supply the milk for the cheese graze upon in the late summer in the mountain pastures. It is this fragrant grass, eaten by the dairy cows, which gives the cheese its unique flavour and aroma.
Quartirolo’snutritional value Quartirolo’s fat content is only around 30%, which is rather low for a cheese. It is an entirely natural cheese, and from production to fermentation, absolutely no additives or genetically-modified materials are added to the process, leaving a completely pure and natural cheese that is easy on the digestion. 100g contain only 297kcal and can be incorporated into any healthy diet and lifestyle. Furthermore, since it is low in fat, it can be used to supplement a diet abstaining from animal fats. Of a 100g serving of Quartirolo. 18g is protein, 572mg is calcium and 24.5g is fat. This may seem a large amount, but is considerably less than the 43.9g of fat found in 100g of Mozzarella. This makes Quartirolo a low-fat cheese that can be incorporated into one’s diet and still provide one with a feeling of satiety.
Quartirolo’s unique characteristics
Quartirolo is always sold in a cubic shape, with a length of 20cm and a height between 4 and 8cm. Depending on how long it is aged, the rind and texture of the cheese can vary. If aged for a shorter period of time, the rind is white, the cheese is brittle and easily crumbles, and the flavour is slightly acidic. If aged for a longer period of time, the cheese hardens and takes on a richer taste, while the rind takes on a more yellowy hue. Quartirolo is a perfect accompaniment for salads and cold dishes, and can of course be enjoyed by itself. It is a versatile cheese, and how one uses it comes down to one’s own culinary creativity.