- For centuries, Formai de Mut from the Upper Brembana Valley has been the classic type of cheese produced in the Brembo mountain pastures. The term "Formai de Mut", translated from the dialect of Bergamo, literally means “mountain cheese”, specifically indicating the mountain pastures at an altitude of between 1300 and 2500 metres, where the cows traditionally graze in the summer. In the Upper Brembana Valley, the cool climate, the plentiful water and extensive pastures rich in aromatic plants offer the ideal conditions for the production and transformation of milk. The summer mountain pasture cheese offers aromas that are difficult to find in the products made at other times of the year. Each year no more than 1500 forms are produced in the mountain pastures, each weighing 8/12 kilos. This niche product is appreciated by connoisseurs who order the cheese from one year to the next. From as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, all the cheese production of the Upper Valley was called “mountain cheese”. The characteristics and the geographical limits of the Formai de Mut from the Upper Brembana Valley are defined by law 125/54, on the designations of origin and typical designations of cheese. In 1985 this cheese was attributed Controlled Designation of Origin (CDO) and in 1996 Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
- This is a semi-cooked cheese, made exclusively from whole cow’s milk. In the production phase, the cow's milk is put into cauldrons which are normally made of copper and with a capacity of 300 - 400 litres, and curdled at 35-37°C in 30 minutes, with liquid calf’s rennet. After the curd has been broken up into pieces with a maximum size of a grain of rice, it is cooked at 45 - 47°C and then stirred off the heat. After resting for about 20 minutes, during which time the curd deposits on the bottom, the cheese is removed using "pata" filtering cloths and placed in moulds where by pressing and turning the whey is drained off. After 48 hours, the cheese is salted, either by dry-salting or in brine.
- The cheese is ripened for a minimum of 45 days in conditions where the temperature must be between 8 and 13°C with constant humidity.
- The cheese normally has a diameter of between 30 and 40 centimetres with a straight or slightly convex side 8-10 cm high. Weight varies between 8 and 12 kilos. The rind is thin, compact and straw-coloured tending to grey with ageing. The cheese is ivory straw-coloured, supple and compact, with evenly distributed holes. The characteristic aroma maintains the fragrance of the herbs and varies from one mountain pasture to another. The taste is delicate, not piquant and not very salty.