On our trip through Ticino, we visited cheese dairies nestled high in the mountains close to where the cows graze. The proximity of the cheese dairies ensures the freshest milk for the production of their artisanal cheeses. It is a great pleasure to able to share our discoveries with you in our September 2020 Box!
Ferme Biologique Töira, TI
When we arrived at the Ferme Biologique Töira, Hedi was waiting for us on the doorstep, all smiles! She gave us a warm welcome and was very interested in speaking with us. Her husband was preparing the ricotta cheese, you could see him through the glass that separates the cheese dairy from the shop. Hedi, her husband, and their two sons work together on this estate which includes dairy cows and the cheese dairy. Ticino showed us another organization that we didn’t know about until now. Hedi’s husband was a farmer before he learned how to make cheese. Owning your own cows and making cheese on the spot is a typical Ticino organization. Usually, the cheesemakers receive milk from the farmers and then transform it into cheese. However, in Ticino, the cheesemakers can produce their own milk to make their cheeses.
The cows are brought to a first semi-alpine pasture in April, where they stay for one month and then move on to the higher alpine pastures. Pian Segno is one of the alpine pastures and also the name of one of the cheeses that we selected this month. They stay there for 3 months and then go back down to the semi-alpine pastures where the hay has been made in the meantime. The nephews, who live abroad, are delighted to come and spend the summer on the alp and help the family in their difficult summer work.
A life of mountain people, punctuated by the flow of tourists eager to taste these fresh, traditional, and richly flavored specialties.
On Sundays, a queue may form outside the shop, so Hedi brings chairs, offers some yogurts and some samples of cheeses to help you wait!
Via Lucomagno 91
Caseificio del Sole, TI
The Caseificio del Sole from Aquila is also organized in such a way that the milk from the estate is used to make different kinds of cheese. Cheesemaker Lucio Lucchini told us, in very good French, that the farm had between 80 and 90 cows, all grazing on the mountain pastures during the summer.
The cheese dairy del Sole has been run by Severino Rigozzi since 1976, throughout his career he has been constantly expanding and following the evolution of innovative techniques while keeping the traditional recipes. His son Odis assists him in this daily task. Their various cheeses are sold all over Ticino.
Severino Rigozzi spoke a dialect that was difficult, if not impossible, for us to understand, fortunately, the cheesemaker was there to act as a translator! It was a nice visit to a very important domain/cheese dairy in the heart of the beautiful Lucomagno valley.
Caseificio del Sole