Typical Italian cheeses: Silter Dop Camuno-Sebino Silter from Val Camonica

Typical Italian cheeses: Silter Dop Camuno-Sebino Silter from Val Camonica

EU recognition: Reg. 29/9/2015

Origins and production area

The production of Silter cheese has ancient origins, as can be deduced from the same name, almost certainly of Celtic origin, which corresponds to the Italian Casera and which - in the production area - indicates the aging room. The first documented evidence of the presence of Silter dates back to the end of the 1600s, when the dairy transformation of milk was the only means available for the preservation of its precious nutritional characteristics and this cheese represented a source of nourishment for the population of the Camonica Valley and the Sebino- Bresciano. Still today, the Silter is of considerable socio-economic importance at the local level, since the supply chain involves numerous companies, even small ones, which carry out the transformation of their milk according to processing practices rooted in tradition and handed down by the cheesemakers / breeders of generation in generation.

The production and maturing area of ​​Silter DOP cheese includes the entire administrative territory of the municipalities in the province of Brescia which fall within the Mountain Communities of Valle Camonica and Sebino Bresciano, in the Lombardy region.

Silter Dop

Silter Dop

Consortium for the protection of Silter Dop cheese (http://formaggiosilter.it)

Characteristics and production phases

The Silter DOP is produced with milk from one or more milkings, partially skimmed by the natural surfacing of the cream. The milk is then put into the boiler and added with calf rennet for coagulation, followed by the breaking of the clot. The curd is then brought to a cooking temperature between 46 ° C and 52 ° C, after which it must be kept in a serum for 20-60 minutes, put in a mold and left to drain for 12-24 hours on the dripping table. During this process the shape is pressed. In the first 12 hours of placing in the mold, the marking is carried out on the barefoot with a special raised band. The salting takes place by sprinkling the salt or in brine and varies according to the size of the cheese, between 4 and 10 days. The seasoning takes place by placing the forms on wooden boards in special rooms called "Silter" at a temperature of 7-20 ° C for at least 100 days, during which the forms must be turned over periodically.

The Silter DOP has a cylindrical shape from 34 to 40 cm in diameter, with a straight or slightly convex edge of 8-10 cm and a weight between 10 and 16 kg. The rind is hard, straw-yellow in color tending to brown. The pasta, also hard, is crumbly and not very elastic, with small-medium holes; the color varies from white to intense yellow. The taste is predominantly sweet, the bitterness is absent or little perceived, while savory and / or spicy notes appear in very aged cheeses. The smell and aroma are persistent and characteristic of the area, such as the aroma of dried fruit, the hint of fodder and chestnuts.

Gastronomy and recommended wines

Silter della Val Camonica is an excellent table cheese. Silter cheese is a cousin of Bagoss and goes well with a salami from Valle Camonica called slinsega or with salted horse meat of which Darfo is the head of the row, an excellent starter. It can be combined with a Merlot or a Marzemino from Val Camonica.
(thanks to Raffaele Amoruso).

Production specification - Silter

Article 1
The Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) "Silter" is reserved exclusively for cheese which meets the conditions and requirements established in this production specification.

Article 2
Description of the finished product

The "Silter D.O.P." is a semi-fat hard cheese, produced throughout the year exclusively with raw milk.
The product at the moment of consumption (after a minimum of 100 days of seasoning) has the characteristics described below.

2.1 Morphological characteristics Shape: cylindrical
Barefoot: straight or slightly convex, with a height between 8 and 10 cm. Faces: flat or slightly convex with a diameter between 34 and 40 cm.
Weight: from 10 to 16 kg, with a tolerance of up to 10% only for the minimum weight of the single shape. Rind: natural, hard, straw-yellow color tending to brown following oiling and seasoning.

2.2 Physico-chemical characteristics
The fat content: must be from 27 to 45% of the dry substance. The moisture content cannot exceed 40%.

2.3 Microbiological characteristics
Lactic bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus and Lactococcus prevail, both those belonging to the homofermenting group and those of the heterofermenting group. This rich lactic flora comes from the environment where cows are raised and milk is processed.

2.4 Organoleptic characteristics

The paste is hard, never too elastic, sometimes with small-medium holes distributed evenly. The color varies from white to intense yellow depending on the feeding of the cows and the seasoning.
The sweet taste prevails, the bitterness is absent or poorly perceived, while savory and / or spicy notes appear in very aged cheeses. The smell and aroma are persistent; among the most perceived we find dried fruit, butter and milk from cows fed with fodder from the geographical area, chestnut flour, Silter (intended as seasoning rooms).

Article 3
Production area

The production and maturing area for the "Silter D.O.P." cheese it includes the entire administrative territory of the Municipalities belonging to the Province of Brescia and falling within the Mountain Communities of Valle Camonica and Sebino Bresciano.
The Camonica Valley and the Sebino Bresciano represent a large Alpine and pre-Alpine territorial reality that extends from Lake Iseo to the Tonale and Gavia passes. The vastness of the area, the strong altitude range and the morphology of the numerous lateral valleys (from Val Palot to the Valle delle Messi) subject to different climatic conditions are united by a single production technology of the Silter, produced from the valley floor to the Alpine horizon . The Silter production area includes the Municipalities of the Province of Brescia which are listed below in alphabetical order: Angolo terme, Artogne, Berzo Demo, Berzo lower, Bienno, Borno, Braone, Breno, Capo di Ponte, Cedegolo, Cerveno , Ceto, Cevo, Cimbergo, Cividate Camuno, Corteno Golgi, Darfo Boario Terme, Edolo, Esine, Gianico, Incudine, Losine, Lozio, Malegno, Malonno, Monno, Niardo, Ono San Pietro, Ossimo, Paisco Loveno, Paspardo, Piancamuno, Piancogno, Ponte di Legno, Prestine, Saviore dellAdamello, Sellero, Sonico, Temù, Vezza dOglio, Vione, Sulzano, Sale Marasino, Marone, Zone, Pisogne, Monte Isola.

Article 4
Proof of origin

Each phase of the production process of Silter cheese is monitored by documenting for each the inputs and outputs during the production of the raw material, the cheesemaking, the maturing, the marking and the labeling. In this way, and through the registration in special lists, managed by the control structure, of breeders, producers and seasoners as well as by reporting the quantity produced to the control structure, product traceability is guaranteed.
In order to trace all stages of the supply chain, from the final product to the raw material, producers must keep a record of the quantity of milk and the number of forms produced and marked on a special register.
All natural or legal persons registered in the relevant lists will be subject to control by the control structure, in accordance with the provisions of the production specification and the related control plan.

Article 5
Obtaining method

Raw material
Silter cheese is produced throughout the year and exclusively with raw milk. Lactating cows, in individual farms, must belong to the typical mountain breeds (Bruna, Grigio Alpina and Pezzata Rossa) at least 80%. Brown cows must be at least 60% of all lactating cows in individual holdings.
Lactating cows must be fed on grass and / or hay; the use of ensiled or wrapped foods is not allowed. Integration with concentrates is allowed in quantities of less than 40% of the dry substance of the ration.
The forage must come mainly from the Silter production area. The percentage of forage (hay and / or grass) coming from the production area is always greater than 50% of the total dry matter administered to lactating cows.
When the cows are on the pasture, the forage must only come from the production area and the concentrate must not exceed the 30% share of the average ingested dry substance. Compliance with these conditions allows you to put the name of the hut on the barefoot.

The milk can come from one or more milkings and must be kept hot on the surface.
All the milk is partially skimmed by the natural surfacing of the cream. The stop must vary from 8 to 48 hours from when the milk is poured into the basins or outcrop tanks.
Partially skimmed milk is put into the boiler. Lactic flora can be added, with a natural graft produced with milk or whey from the farms located in the production area or with a graft of selected indigenous cultures.
Dyes and preservatives of any origin are not allowed.
After heating to 36-40 ° C, the calf rennet must be added and, once coagulation is obtained, the clot must be broken up to obtain pasta grains the size of a rice grain to a corn grain. .
Immediately after, the curd must be heated by keeping it under stirring, bringing it to a cooking temperature between 46 ° C and 52 ° C.
The curd must be kept in the whey for 20-60 minutes, put in a mold and left to drain for 12-24 hours on the dripping table (called in local jargon Spersore Table). The process of removing the whey from the curd is aided by pressing the shape.
In the first 12 hours from placing in the mold, the marking is carried out on the barefoot with a special raised band.

The "Silter D.O.P." cheese it is salted by hand by sprinkling dry salt of medium particle size or in brine.
The duration of the salting is included, according to the weight of the cheese, between 4 and 12 days.

Seasoning takes place in traditional rooms (Silter) with a temperature of 7-20 ° C and humidity of 70-90%. The shelves on which the cheeses are placed during the seasoning are made of wood. These characteristics must be maintained even when the cheese is matured in the cells with controlled temperature and humidity.
During the seasoning the forms must periodically be turned on the boards.
For the "Silter DOP" the minimum seasoning of the forms is 100 days from the production date.
In order to be marketed with the denomination, the forms must be stamped with fire marks.

Article 6
Link with the environment
"Silter" is a term of Anglo-Saxon origin and almost certainly of Celtic origin, corresponds to the Italian Casera and is the name that, in the production area, is given to the maturing room and is also used to distinguish the cheese preserved and aged in it .
The historical quotations of the name Silter are numerous and present in the Historical Report. The production of Silter cheese boasts ancient origins, just as the zootechnical tradition of its production area is ancient. The first documented reports date back to the late 1600s, as evidenced by a report drawn up by the Chancellor of the Municipality of Zone in that period. This document also refers to a specific place, Mount de el Gölem, today Mount William.
The area, with a strong dairy vocation, due to geographic isolation and chronic communication difficulties with the capital, has developed a wealth of local agri-food products. Among these, a considerable socio-economic importance is played by Silter; produced in numerous farms, including small ones, which carry out the transformation of their milk according to archaic methods, handed down by the cheesemakers / breeders from generation to generation.
The Silter is historically produced in an alpine and pre-Alpine area that extends from Lake Iseo to the Tonale and Gavia passes. The vastness of the area, the strong altitude range and the morphology of the numerous lateral valleys (Val Palot, Valle delle Messi, Val Saviore, Crocedomini etc.) subject to different climatic conditions are united by a single production technology of the Silter, produced from the valley floor to the alpine horizon.
In past centuries, the dairy transformation of milk was the only means available for the conservation of its precious nutritional characteristics and the Silter cheese represented a source of nourishment for the people of the mountains of the Camonica Valley and the Sebino-Bresciano. The producers have kept the milk processing technology in small rooms and with long times because it is necessary to wait for the lactic flora, not always abundant during the harsh winter, to acidify the curds. It is also in the long processing time (never under two hours) that there is the characteristic of a cheese that is produced with various cuts and with adequate cooking temperatures in order to obtain the correct purging of the whey. The cheese tasting after maturing is the proof of the truth: only a Silter produced with the correct times and temperatures which, in order to maintain a uniform production, vary according to the climatic factors (from the milder climate of Lake Iseo to the rigid one of the environments of the valleys close to the Adamello glacier) and seasonal, can express those flavors and aromas described in the organoleptic characteristics in art.2.
The fine sensorial characteristics of Silter cheese are determined by the environment and breed that characterize raw milk, by the processing technology that enhances the desired ones, making a cheese produced over a large area unique.
The milk is raw: the autochthonous naturally occurring microflora is preserved and developed in it, which determines the slowing down and slowness of the maturation phenomena of its constituents during the long seasoning phase. The environment and the microbial flora originate the aromas of Silter, present in their fullness only in raw milk cheese and long matured in the production area.
The Brown breed is historically bred in the mountains where Silter was produced and produced.
The basis of feeding is the forage that grows in the permanent meadows and pastures of the production area.
In the valley floor there are the meadows maintained by dairy cow breeders; in them they dominate
high Oats, Bromo spp., Fleolo, Dactylis spp., Festuca spp. and the Poa spp ..
In the southern part of the Alpine horizon there are calcareous - dolomitic substrata with pastures a Calcareous sesleria and in Carice. In the northern part of the production area, in the Adamello and Stelvio parks, we find acid soils with pastures at Nardo and Festuca varies.
The strong link with the territory is also due to the presence of some forage aromas which are then found in the cheese especially when the cows ingest the herb rich in aromatic species. The vastness of species found on pastures (Festuca spp., Dactylis spp., Poa spp., Briza media, Phleum spp., Tripholium spp., Lotus corniculatus, Anthillis vulneraria, Ranunculus spp., Horminum pyrenaicum, Achillea millefolium, Poligonum bistorta, Plantago media, Crisantemus spp. stricta, Centaurea nervosa, Carum carvi, Agrostis tenuis, Cerastium holeostoides, Carex spp., Potentilla spp., Geum montanum, Sesleria varia, Anemone pulsatilla, Luzula spp., Centaurea nervosa, Eufrasia spp., Dechampsia caespitosa, Leontodon spp., Achill millefolium, Parnassia spp., Horminum pyrenaicum, Euphrasia spp., Hiperycum spp., etc ...) and the presence of some with aromatic characteristics (Anthoxanthum odorathum, Thimus spp., Alchemilla gr. Vulgaris, Gentiana spp., Cardus spp.), contribute to making Silter a cheese with qualitative characteristics that make it clearly distinguishable from others and closely linked to the territory of origin.
The traditional technology used in the production area provides for the skimming of the milk by the natural surfacing of the cream and the respect of technological parameters that lead to the achievement of the fine defined final characteristics.
The transformation of the milk begins after milking, when it is poured into the bowls to mature without ever undergoing heat treatments or being refrigerated. The sudden putting of the milk in the outcrop promotes the development of mesophilic bacteria in the area and in the equipment which give the flavor and aroma that distinguish Silter from any other cheese.
The microbial flora is very heterogeneous and characteristic of the production area. The species most found during the cheese making process are: Lactococcus lactis ss lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum, Leuconostoc lactis, Enterococcus spp ..
It is possible to add lacto-graft and natural whey-graft (obtained only with milk or whey from the production area) to the boiler, in order to bring to the raw milk a greater share of enzymes representative of the local microbial flora.
The use of a graft of autochthonous lactic ferments that have been selected in the alpine pastures and dairies of the production area is also allowed and, consequently, they preserve the precious microbial component of this cheese. The starters are composed of a mixture of different strains of: Streptococcus thermophilus, Leuconostoc lactis is Lactococcus lactis.
The use of typically wooden tools such as the wheel to stir the milk, the pin and the molds is allowed. Typical of the area are also fixed or mobile wood fired boilers; present not only in dated dairies but also in new dairies. Very characteristic and rediscovered in the construction of new dairies are the mobile stove boilers, in which the wood fire remains hidden in the floor and is moved from one boiler to another without the spread of soot in the environment.
The seasoning in the mountain pastures and / or in the valley is a characterizing and extremely delicate period, its trend is determined by the climatic and environmental conditions characteristic of the Alpine and pre-Alpine production areas. The aging rooms (called Silter) and temperature changes affect the physical-chemical changes that are reflected in the organoleptic characteristics. The presence of gasogenic microorganisms in the spring and summer periods can be very substantial and slightly deform the shapes, making their faces bulge which tend to flatten in the following months.

Article 7

The conformity check of the product to the specification is carried out by a structure that complies with the provisions of EC Reg. N. 1151/2012. This structure is the CSQA Certificazioni srl, via S. Gaetano n. 74, 30016 Thiene (VI), Tel: +39 044 5313011, Fax +39 044 5313070, e-mail [email protected]

Article 8.
Labeling and Presentation

Silter D.O.P. it is identified by means of the markings illustrated below.
On the forms
The "Silter D.O.P." cheese it can be marketed in whole or portioned form. On the shapes we always find two brands: the original brand and the brand in focus.
a.1) The original marking is stamped, cold with marking bands, on the barefoot within 12 hours of placing in the mold and is composed of a sequence of images of 80 mm high anthropomorphic rock engravings and two edelweiss.
Flat development of the original marking on the barefoot:

The area intended for legal data (authorizations, batch number, etc. ...) is purely indicative and can also be modified according to changes in the relevant regulations.

In the Silter produced on the mountain pasture, the valuable sensorial characteristics are enhanced by very particular environmental conditions, deriving from the grass ingested by the cows and from the microbial flora present in raw milk milked at high altitude. The difficult working conditions for the management of the herd and the cheesemaking, in addition to the greater risks in the success of the product and the high costs due to the location in the high mountains, lead to a greater appreciation of the Silter produced in the alpine pastures. For a greater economic return to compensate for the higher production costs and if the indications on nutrition referred to in article 5.1 are observed, it is possible to indicate the name of the malga on the barefoot without obscuring or covering the marking at the origin. The name of the hut is cold-stamped, with a branding strip, together with the original branding.
a.2) The branding is made up of the word "SILTER" in the shape of an arch with the word "D.O.P." in the center; from a rock engraving showing a plowing scene with an edelweiss in front and behind (under the "S" and "R" of Silter).
The identification logo is imprinted on at least one face of the cheese only after 100 days from the date of production.

Branding brand imprinted with branding on the face of the cheese:

b) On the packaging.
On each piece or package there is a label with the identification logo with the word Silter D.O.P., in addition to the legal data.
The portions of the prepackaged cheese must include a part of the side and / or face that testify to the origin of the cheese.
The label is not required if the packaging is prepared in the store for the product defined as "pre-wrapped".
The use of indications and / or graphic symbols that refer to names or company names or collective or individual company brands is also allowed, provided they have no laudatory meaning or are such as to mislead the buyer.
The identification logo on the packaging must comply with the following parameters: Report the complete brand
The background of the mark must be ocher yellow (three-color: R196; G145; B35 - four-color C13; M42; Y94; K0.)
Maintain proportions and shapes

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